Kolkata, December 5, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS) The more the merrier seems to be the motto of the 16th KFF because this year on, there is a third branch that has sprouted out of this giant tree called the Kolkata Film Festival.
The Forum of Film Studies and Allied Arts, under the banner of the 16th KFF, is hosting an international film festival at the Rotary Sadan, a stone’s throw away from the main venue of the 16th KFF, namely the Nandan Complex and its allied theatres, the Rabindra Sadan and Sisir Mancha.
This Forum was formed recently “in a concerted effort to redefine, disseminate and nurture the film society ethos and allied arts that shows signs of loss of focus and degeneration.”
The screening programme opened on the 11th with Ritwik Ghatak’s film Meghe Dhaka Tara in celebration of 50 years since its release in Kolkata. The leading lady of the film, Supriya Devi, was present to inaugurate the film.
This festival is screening three shows every day beginning from 3.00 pm and ending with a screening at 7.00 pm. The screening schedule comprised of award-winning roster of films drawn from across the world.
Among the films are La Tita Asustada that won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival 2009. Directed by Claudia Llosa of Peru, it narrates the story of Fausta who is suffering from a rare disease called the Milk of Sorrow.
This is transmitted through the breast milk of pregnant women who were abused or raped during or soon after pregnancy. While living in constant fear, she faces the sudden death of her mother. How she survives these great pains defines the closure of the film.
Se, Jie won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2009. The film, directed by Ang Lee of Taiwan, opens with Old Wu, a man who has lost his wife and two sons as well as two women who had attempted to seduce Yee, an important official in Japanese-ruled Taiwan. He plans to assassinate Yee but fails. He then recruits Kuang Mai Tai Tai alongwith her group of drama students from Hong Kong University to assassinate Yee. Will she succeed in the plan?
Flanders, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 2006 is directed by Bruno Dumont of France. In sum, through the story of a relationship between a man an a woman that weaves in the impact of war on young men when they come back and realise how the war has changed them from what they were before they went to war.
The screenings open up a new window not into the world beyond our reach and some countries we will never visit in person, but address the larger questions of man’s inhumanity to man, relationships between and among men, women and children that find their reflections in our personal lives too.
By Shoma A. Chatterji