Persistence Resistance

A festival of contemporary political films

28, 29 and 30 April 2008, India International Centre

Video Parlours

Venue: IIC Fountain Lawns, 9:00 – 21:00, all days

Cinema has become increasingly mobile, with a wide circulation of DVDs, VCDs and now the Internet itself, acting as a storehouse of images. But the genesis of this movement and circulation took place primarily through the video parlours, where people unable to access films due to rising costs of the cinema hall were able to view films at their leisure. The video parlours have more often than not been caught in the middle of the piracy debate. Moreover, their presence has raised issues of morality, leading to attempts of censoring the nature of these viewing spaces.

Persistence Resistance presents eight viewing spaces, in the nature of the video parlour, where films playing in a loop throughout the day can be seen without the space and time constrictions. Each video parlour is marked by a cross section of political documentaries ranging from caste politics to gender identities to environmental awareness. But above all, this space tries to find alternative methods of viewing, where the film gains a status by recognizing the rights of the audience.

The Sections:
Exclusive Terrains | Mapping Icons | Blurring the Edges | Of Bodies and Boundaries | Searching Tolerance | Turbulent Currents | Contested Commons | New Maps

Video Parlour 1: Exclusive Terrains

Each society has formulated ways to maintain exclusive territories- inevitably defining the “us” and “them”. The unequal nature of human arrangement perpetuated through centuries has spiralled in to the realms of education, politics and professional life. This video parlour tells the stories of people being victimized by caste mechanisms and also the collective actions being taken by certain sections of the civil society in order to be more inclusive.

SHIT / Director: Amudhan R. P. / 25 min / 2003 / India
A day in the life of Mariammal, a woman sanitary worker, who cleans the shit from a lane in Madurai.

VANDE MATARAM – THE SHIT VERSION / Director: Amudhan R. P. / 5 min / 2005 / India
Rehman’s new version of Vande Mataram is an icon for India’s modern and globalised image, but realities are uncomfortable.

NOTES FROM THE CREMATORIUM / Director: Amudhan R. P. / 25 min, 2005, India
The world of undertakers, a community that is only remembered in the event of death.

THE DIE IS CASTE / Director: Ranjan Kamath / 82 min / 2004 / India
An appraisal of three decades of the Naxalite movement in Bihar – has any benefit accrued to the Scheduled Castes or, are they mere pawns on the political chessboard?

BORN AT HOME / Director: Sameera Jain / / 61 min / 2000 / India
Indigenous birth practices and practitioners of rural and urban India.

VOICES / Director: Sameera Jain / 34 min / 2006 / India
Three most marginalised communities among Dalits in UP give voice the oppression and marginalisation they have been subjected to for centuries.

Video Parlour 2: Mapping Icons

The films travel from paying a tribute to man’s ability to reuse, recycle and reformulate existing physical materials to create new and exciting styles of life. It then goes on to reveal the life of a painter, who despite his physical handicap creates a mesmerizing account on canvas. It finally tracks the process of circulation of icons in a culture- from their birth to their erasure.

A CAR FOR A DOLLAR / Director: Maximillian Spohr and Reiner Derdau / 60 min / 2005 / Canada
The story of a unique creation known as the Trabant.

PRETTY DYANA / Director: Boris Mitic / 45 min / 2003 / Serbia
Gypsy refugees in a Belgrade suburb make a living by transforming Citroen’s classic 2CV and Dyana cars into Mad Max-like recycling vehicles. But the police doesn’t always find these strange vehicles funny.…

IN A FOREST HANGS A BRIDGE / Director: Sanjay Kak / 39 min / 1999 / India
The indigenous Adi tribe in Arunachal, north-east India, gathers to build a 1000 ft long bridge of cane and bamboo.

DELINQUENT ANGEL / Director: David Blackall / 48 min / 2000 / Australia
Life and work of John Perceval, famous Australian painter.

MADE IN INDIA / Director: Madhusree Dutta / 37 min / 2002 /India
A film on contemporary visual cultures in India.

Video Parlour 3: Blurring the Edges

This space called Blurring the edges provides a perspective on the institutions of information and education as well as the functioning of the democratic process within an education system. Are information and education within the reach of all and if they are, how do they reshape identities and edges of the social boundaries around us?

HOT OFF THE PRESS / Director: Bishakha Dutta / 30 min / 2006 /India
‘Khabar Lahariya’, published every fortnight from a small town in Uttar Pradesh’s Chitrakoot district, covers all the news that mainstream media forgot.

A, B, SHE / Director: Subas Das / 90 min / 2003 / India
Story of a school teacher and her attempts to reform the education system.

BLACK PAMPHLETS / Director: Nitin K. / 84 min / 2007 / India
A glimpse of democracy in practice through a chronicle of a students’ elections at the Delhi University.

KAREN EDUCATION SURVIVING / Director: Scott O’ Brien and Saw Eh Do Wah / 29 min / 2003 / Burma & Thailand
The story of Karen villagers living internally displaced throughout the Karen state in Burma.

Video Parlour 4: Of Bodies and Boundaries

Of Bodies and Boundaries raises multiple questions of not just the physical body and the transformation it goes through in the event of a political turmoil, a performance, violence or even liposuction but also seeks to explore the boundaries that are set up when such processes occur. In the face of such externalities when the body can no longer survive in isolation, this video parlour expands the horizons of what a body has come to mean in the contemporary geo-political and social scenario.

SEARCH FOR FREEDOM: A STORY ABOUT FOUR AFGHAN WOMEN / Director: Munizae Jahangir / 54 min / 2003 / Pakistan, USA
Four Afghan women recount their journeys through the turbulent history of their country since the 1920s.

BREATHING WITHOUT AIR / Director: Kapilas Bhuyan / 23 min / 2004 / India
A rustic road show, Mundapota – the son buries his head in the ground while his father beats the drum, thrilled viewers applaud; but what happens in the darkness that engulfs him in the pit?

COLOURS BLACK / Director: Mamta Murthy / 30 min / 2001 / India
An attempt to break the silences around sexual abuse within the family.

SKIN DEEP / Director: Reena Mohan / 83 min / 1998 / India
The eternal search for the ideal feminity and how it permeates the self image of women.

WHERE THE HEART LIES / Director: Samar Minallah / 53 min / Pakistan
A film about the Afghan Refugee women living in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan.

Video Parlour 5: Searching Tolerance

In Searching Tolerance, we look at a range of films that tackle issues of state violence, unfair foreign policies that benefit a certain section of the world, images of war and who controls them and also movements by social groups that raise awareness of the annihilation that the world might be heading towards. We search for tolerance in human minds and attitudes.

DOVE DAYS / Director: Barri Cohen / 47 min / 2002 / Canada
A critical view of the role of western media in selling war and blood, especially after 9-11.

DOWNWIND: DEPLETED URANIUM WEAPONS IN THE AGE OF VIRTUAL WAR / Director: Jawad Metni /
50 min / 2000 / USA
Blending broad issues of history and memory with the near ubiquitous control of war imagery by the military, this film raises questions about the true human cost when the desire for total victory outweighs the moral obligations of ‘humanitarian intervention’.

GREEN GOLD / Director: Heidi Bachram / 29 min / 2003 / UK
The story of Sajida Khan, a South African woman with a hazardous dumpsite on her doorstep.

PASSENGERS; A VIDEO JOURNEY IN GUJARAT / Director: Nooh Nizami and Akanksha Joshi / 52 min / 2003 / India
A tribute to the survivors of one of the worst failures of state machinery since the partition.

IMAGES OF DEVELOPMENT / Director: Pramod Gupta / 25 min / 2002 / India
How the process of planning and development works by excluding, if necessary by force, the poor and the marginalized.

IN WHOSE INTEREST? / Director: David Kaplowitz / 27 min / 2002 / UK
A historical journey through the past 50 years of United States intervention, questioning motives and examining effects of US foreign policy.

Video Parlour 6: Turbulent Currents

With the prediction of a global water scarcity fast becoming a reality, what happens when certain power groups do not address these warnings and continue ravaging this natural resource? Turbulent currents hosts a range of films that address this issue while at the same time, acknowledging the collective action being taken by people, who might just be on the brink of a clash between man and nature.

BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP SEA / Director: Saraswati Rao Kavula / 73 min / 2005 / India
A film on the troubles and travails of the traditional marine fisher folk from Andhra.

RESTLESS SHORES / Director: Noel Rajesh / 20 min / 2003 / India
Challenges before the traditional fisherfolk from commercial trawlers, and their struggle to maintain control over local fishing grounds, their fishing livelihoods and economic security.

CALL OF THE BHAGIRATHI / Director: Anwar Jamal / 47 min / 1992 / India
A film predicting the disasterous impact of the Tehri Dam.

WORDS ON WATER / Director: Sanjay Kak / 86 min / 2003 / India
In a world where the use of violence has become the arbiter of all political debate, Words on Water is about a sustained non-violent resistance, that almost joyous defiance, which empowers the people as they struggle for their rights.

Video Parlour 7: Contested Commons

The physical as well as the intellectual climate of the world are increasingly being overshadowed by a looming threat; the former by the excesses of man-made entities, corporatism and materialism and the latter by a highly protectionist attitude that denies the right of survival to a vast section of the world. When different power groups such as that of the state or the corporate try to wrest authority over land and intellectual creations, the Commons becomes a highly contested territory.

ONLY AN AXE AWAY / Director: P. Baburaj and C. Saratchandran / 40 min / 2005 / India
A film on the struggle to save the unique ecosystem of Silent Valley.

SUITS AND SAVAGES: WHY THE WORLD BANK WON’T SAVE THE WORLD / Director: Zoe Young and Dylan Howitt / 44 min / 2000 / UK
The Global Environment Facility looks promising on paper. But does this newest of the international financial institutions live up to its own rhetoric?

FROM DUST / Director: Dhruv Dhawan / 56 min / 2005 / UAE
The untold story of a ‘100 metre rule’ after the Tsunami.

PATENTS OR PATIENTS? / Director: Joost de Haas / 25 min / 2002 / The Netherlands
Do the pharmaceutical companies really spend as much on the development of new medicines as they say they do? And do they need patents to protect their huge profits?

TRINKETS AND BEADS / Director: Christopher Walker / 52 min / 1996 / UK
Funny, heartbreaking and thrilling story of the battle waged by a small band of Amazonian warriors to preserve their way of life.

THE BITTER DRINK / Director: P. Baburaj and C. Saratchandran / 26 min / 2003 / India
A film on the adivasi struggle against Coca Cola in Plachimada, Kerala.

TUNIN’ TECHNOLOGY TO ECOLOGY / Director: Izzy Brown / 15 min / 2002 / Australia
This fun doc shows how easy it is to reduce your ecological footprint while having a great time!

Video Parlour 8: New Maps

In charting new worlds, a space of new maps has been marked, where global concerns against a vast spectrum of discrepancies are voiced and addressed. The World Social Forum visualizes and almost prophesizes the dream of a better world that is waiting to take birth.

HOPE WILL WIN OVER FEAR / Director: Andreas Hernandez / 60 min / 2003 / Brazil
An exploration of the various meanings of the World Social Forum as an event and process as well as its historical importance coming out of 500 years of colonialism, developmentalism and neo-liberalism.

RUMBLE IN MUMBAI / Director: Jawad Metni / 74 min / 2004 / USA
An extensive documentation of the World Social Forum held in Mumbai, India, in January 2004, that was attended by over 100,000 people, all looking to build solidarity — and a better world.

WORK IN PROGRESS / Director: Paromita Vohra / 60 min / India
A journey from being a document of the 2004 World Social Forum in Mumbai to becoming an impression of a worldwide movement for economic, political and cultural justice and a travelogue of ideas for change.

*Programme subject to last minute changes

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