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Festival Roundup

By Sachin Chatte

The movie will begin in five minutes / The mindless voice announced
All those unseated will await the next show.
We filed slowly, languidly into the hall / The auditorium was vast and silent
As we seated and were darkened, the voice continued.
The program for this evening is not new / You’ve seen this entertainment through and through
You’ve seen your birth your life and death / You might recall all of the rest
Did you have a good world when you died, enough to base a movie on?
— Jim Morrison (The Movie)

When the curtains come down today on the 47th edition of the International Film Festival of India, it will herald another year of good memories. For any film buff this is the best time of the year. After all, in a span of just eight days, you go through a plethora of emotions and experiences, and you also get to understand the world a little better.
‘I, Daniel Blake’ made us empathise with a good man fighting the bureaucratic system in the U.K. One could also infer the reasons for Brexit from this film.
‘Barakah Meets Barakah’ enlightened us about Saudi Arabian society, showing that their cinema is not as conservative as their other social norms. Andrei Konchalovsky’s ‘Paradise’ reminded us anew about the horrors of Nazi rule No matter how many films are made on the subject, it will never be enough.
‘Sandstorm’ is about the plight of women in the Middle-East, where women still get the raw end of the stick. You wonder if it will change in our lifetime. ‘The Salesman’ amply proved Ashgar Farhadi’s mastery. The serpentine queue outside the auditorium for this film showed that delegates at the festival know their cinema very well. ‘Letters from War’ was one of the most poetic films at IFFI 2016. It tempted me to buy António Lobo Antunes novel (a collection of letters) on which the film is based.
Based on a true story, ‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki’ was about a boxer, but it is not a conventional sports film at all. ‘Layla M’ focuses on the radicalization of Muslim youth in Europe. Given that this is something happening in real life, we can expect more films on this subject in the years to come. Danis Tanovic’s stylish ‘Death in Sarajevo’ made me want to reach out and read more about the Balkan conflicts. Even though I missed out on films like ‘The Constitution’ and ‘The Commune’, which a lot of people were raving about, this was yet another good year of movies at IFFI. Already counting the days to the next edition!