Documenting the social fabric of Kutch

A Delicate Weave by directors K.P. Jayasankar and Anjali Monteiro traces four musical journeys

October 30, 2017 01:10 am | Updated 01:10 am IST - Kochi

Actor Mammootty felicitates documentary directors K.P. Jayasankar and Anjali Monteiro at a function held in the city on Sunday.

Actor Mammootty felicitates documentary directors K.P. Jayasankar and Anjali Monteiro at a function held in the city on Sunday.

If the latest documentaries are less poetic than the previous ones, that only means the time has come to express things more directly, without considering poetic beauty, said award-winning documentary directors K.P. Jayasankar and Anjali Monteiro.

They were speaking at a function organised by the Cochin Film Society and Orthic Creative Centre here on Sunday to felicitate them.

33 documentaries

Professors at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, the duo have directed as many as 33 internationally acclaimed documentaries.

They have also written a book, A Fly in the Curry - Independent Documentary Film in India , which won a special mention in the Best Book in Cinema category at the National Film Awards in 2016.

Actor Mammootty, one of Mr. Jayasankar’s contemporaries at Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam, said the duo’s documentaries were not just descriptions or documents, but had philosophy and understanding. He recalled that during his college days, Mr. Jayasankar was among his friends who encouraged his film aspirations. The function was also attended among others by oncologist V.P. Gangadharan, former district collector K.R. Viswambharan, film critic I. Shanmughadas, director Dileesh Pothen, and artist Kaladharan.

The felicitation function was followed by a screening of the duo’s latest production, A Delicate Weave , the third in their Kutch trilogy. The earlier ones were A Two Day Fair ( Do Din Ka Mela, 2009) and Like Here Like There ( So Heddan So Hoddan , 2011). Mr. Shanmugadas said the documentary trilogy could be the first of its kind in the world.

A Delicate Weave , set in the Kutch region in Gujarat, traces four different musical journeys, all converging in ways they affirm religious diversity.

Drawing on the poetic and musical traditions of Kabir and Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai as well as the folk traditions of the region, the musicians and singers bear testimony to how the oral traditions of compassion are passed down from one generation to another.

“Kutch was the only region in Gujarat which was not affected by communal riots, even though it lies on the India-Pakistan border. Secularism comes to the people of Kutch so organically. Most of them are illiterate and what transpires from this experience is that human understanding has nothing to do with modern education,” said Mr. Jayasankar.

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