Saankal – strong content, weak movie

Even a badly made film becomes a learning experience for the viewers because it sheds light on issues not known widely otherwise, says Shoma Chatterji as she reviews the movie Saankal.

Art Human Rights

In the aftermath of a hooch tragedy
In a terrible, but not-so-rare tragedy in rural West Bengal, 170 people lost their lives after consuming illicit liquor. But what actually happens after an incident such as this? Cholai, a well-researched black comedy, reveals the moral and social degradation that cuts across spheres, writes Shoma Chatterji.
Poverty Society

The Dalit in Indian cinema
Shoma Chatterji talks about caste and the portrayal of Dalit in Hindi cinema beginning with Bombay Talkies Achhut Kannya (1936) to Bimal Roy’s Sujata (1959) followed by many mainstream films, and the small-budget, low-key ones which have focused on this significant social issue in the past so many years.
Films Caste

Shooting nature’s wrath in Paradise
In September 2014, Jammu and Kashmir was ravaged by floods and landslides. A brilliant documentary Kashmir Flood – Let the Vale Rise by Bilal A Jan captures the immediate after-effects of the worst floods in the state in a century that changed almost the entire topography of the state along with the lives of its residents. Shoma Chatterji reviews the film.
Jammu and Kashmir

Churning our minds on India’s development
The bi-monthly book review journal Biblio celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Its founder editors - Darryl D’Monte is one of its founder editors - were invited to the Chandigarh Literature Festival-2015, which was held earlier this month. D’Monte talks about an interesting book discussion he chaired at the festival.
Environment Environmental films and books

A celluloid tribute to Gandhi
At a time when we're drifting away from Gandhiji and the values he stood and fought for, a film like Gour Hari Dastaan comes as a reminder of what we've lost and forces us to reflect on why. Shoma Chatterji reviews this film about a Gandhian and his fight to prove that he was indeed a freedom fighter.
Films History

The path of Zarathustra
The traditionalists and the liberal Parsis have an never-ending debate on how to keep their community and faith alive. Recently released feature film The Path of Zarathustra directed by Oorvazi Irani looks at this debate and more. Shoma Chatterji reviews the movie and talks to the director.
People Art

In defence of Pandit Nehru
Darryl D'Monte talks about his recent participation in a discussion on Nayantara Sahgal's book on Nehru, which delves into Nehruvian policies, his cherished dreams, his lasting legacy and its importance in today's time.

A human gaze
Harsh Mander's new book Looking Away: Inequality, Prejudice and Indifference in New India talks about the growing inequality and the lack of compassion amongst the rich for the poor in India. Darryl D'Monte reviews the book which despite its candidness about the grim realities offers a message of hope and promise.
Books Society

Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai : Unique example of solidarity
Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts in western Uttar Pradesh had their long standing communal harmony destroyed by the riots that took place there in September 2013. Shoma Chatterji reviews the powerful documentary Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai which looks closely into the how, why and the aftermath of these riots.

The story that tells you what our courts are really like
'Court' narrates a compelling story and evolves into a hard-hitting realistic portrayal of the Indian legal system, far removed from depictions seen so far in mainstream cinema. Shoma Chatterji reviews the film with a deep exploration of all that sets it apart from a regular courtroom drama.
Films Society

What to expect when you watch the most talked-about film today
Though based on strong reporting, India’s Daughter remains restricted in its scope, and even strays from its purported objective, thanks to a very pronounced colonial supremacist gaze, writes Shoma Chatterji in a dispassionate review that cuts through the noise.
Films Gender Violence Women

A paean to Chhattisgarh from an exiled lover
Dr Ilina Sen’s association with Chhattisgarh and her deep, empathetic understanding of its society and culture have come lyrically alive in "Inside Chhattisgarh: A Political Memoir." Freny Manecksha reviews the book.
Books CHHATISGARH Human Rights

Saankal – strong content, weak movie
The strange tale of the 'son' who wasn't!
Losing India's Greta Garbo
The film that changed Afroza's life
Infusing sensuality into a Tagore classic
Will reel kill the power of real?
On the trail of toxins
In celebration of resistance
Meghe Dhaka Tara: A stunning tribute
Life in no man's land
Preserving history for posterity
The empire's script-writer
Natural gas, unnatural realities
How strong is society, really?
A life re-examined
Plentiful, but for whom?
Work is life
Popularising SRI
Layers of violence
In front of the lens
More than football
The forgotten hero
Revisiting the Baul movement
Autumn in decay
The silence of the truth
Extending the parameters of cinema
Ring the bell against violence
A mother's love
Hot news or not news?
After a long, dark night
Meandering an important course
Male, but marginal
The darkness within
A delightful celluloid recreation
The spoofs of Malegaon
Waiting, against all odds
Cheerleading, rather than critiquing
The iron is hot
A medium in chains
Environment Report, 2009
A little music in a little home
Documenting the flesh trade
There was a Queen
Journeying with Mahasweta Devi
A journey through documentary film-making
King of India
Still can't make salt
Separation and quest
Getting things done
Gandhi in our times
An argumentative Indian look at China
A village on the screen
An uneven, but important journey
Zooming in on Vidarbha
A day in the life of a dhandewali
Of daughter, father and river
Two new documentaries explode Gujarat's myths
The scoop on external intelligence
Fresh water scarcity demands fresh ideas
The business case for informed consent
A weak look at judicial reforms
The strange case of the Parliament attack
A journey of courage
A life of conviction
Adoption tales
Nehru: A contested legacy
The whole world's bhujia
Presumed guilty, secretly
Everywhere, yet invisible
Aiyar logic, weaker argument
A greatness of his own
Who exactly are the good guys?
Common people green the commons
Who is a feminist?
What are you waiting for?
Pulp, paper and Bamboo
Land, law and planning
Troubled Islands
By choice and circumstance
Mountain Vox
Home truths on market fundamentalism
An august dispute : Gandhi and Tagore
The Great Betrayal : Indian Land Reforms
Love is God

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