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From `Oruthi'

From `Oruthi'  

A PACKAGE of eight contemporary films will be presented at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), to be held here from December 12 to 19.

Roysten Abel's debut film, `In Othello', starring Barry John, centres on a theatre company. The artists attempt to stage the play, `Othello'. The crises in their lives are at a tangent to their creative efforts. As the film proceeds, emotions conveyed through the play, such as prejudice and jealousy in love, are reflected in real life as well.

Rajesh Tourchriver's `In the Name of Buddha', focusses on the refugees of Sri Lanka, their struggle for survival amid the ethnic conflict and genocide.

The film also brings to light the atrocities against the refugees and the blatant violation of human rights.

Pamela Rook's new film, `Dance like a Man', is an adaptation of Mahesh Dattani's play of the same title. Rooks' film has Arif Zakaria (known for his poignant portrayal of a eunuch in `Darmiyaan') and Shobana playing ageing dancers who try to realise their dreams through their daughter, a Bharatanatyam danseuse. Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar's daughter, Anoushka, plays the couple's daughter.

The couple have a sense of d�j� vu as they see their daughter go through familiar problems in her personal and professional life; the problems are a reflection of the couple's own tragic dancing career.

Umesh Padalkar's film, `Bakra', centres on a few weird characters and has an interesting storyline. The film begins with an incident that takes place in a mental asylum. This asylum is located in a rural area, and three patients escape from the reformatory after setting it on fire.

`Oruthi', Amshan Kumar's debut film, was screened at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), in Delhi, recently. The film, based on a Tamil short story by the Sahitya Academy award-winning writer, Rajanarayanan, is an intense tale set in 19th-century rural Tamil Nadu. Telling the tale of a Dalit girl who is in love with an upper caste boy, the film brings out the problem of caste oppression.

Film enthusiasts will also get to watch veteran director Goutam Ghosh's `Abar Aranye'. The film, a take-off on Satyajit Ray's `Aranyer Din Ratri', (`Days and nights in forest'), is about a group of men who, in their old age, revisit a forest they had explored in their youth. Their wives and children accompany them. The film unveils the changes in the lives of the aged men as they relive the past.

Another much-awaited film is Amol Palekar's `Anahat', which won the Best Artistic Direction award at the World Film Festival, held in Bangkok recently.

The Marathi film is set in the kingdom of Malla of the 10th century B.C. The king, incapable of having a successor, urges his queen to choose a mate for a night. The queen is left with no choice but to acquiesce to the king's request. In the process, however, she discovers her own sexuality and wishes to break free of social rules.

As in his earlier works such as `Ankahee', Palekar has explored the complexities of life, in his new film too; the director delineates a woman's desire to exert her right to sexual fulfilment and questions hypocrisy.

Sekhar Das' `Songs of Madhubani' will also be screened at the festival.

SMITHA SADANANDAN

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