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South Asian concerns come alive in the second edition of Persistence Resistance film festival
For those who relax by watching non-mainstream cinema, here comes the big show. Film festival Persistence Resistance, organised by Delhi-based distributors Magic Lantern Foundation, will screen 200 films, including documentaries.
The highlight of the festival is contemporary South Asian cinema which, organiser Gargi Sen says, "reflects a common concern for resistance to marginalisation and alienation". Sri Lanka's civil war comes alive in Prasanna Vithanage's movie Death on a Full Moon Night about a father who refuses compensation money because he's sure his soldier son is still alive; while in We Corner People, Kesang Tseten of Nepal shows how important a new bridge is to villagers in the remote Rasuwa district where children walk four hours to attend a three-room school. My Migrant Soul by Bangladeshi filmmaker Yasmine Kabir is a tragic story of a young migrant, and in Nusrat Has Left The Building, But When? filmmaker Farjad Nabi goes to the roots of singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Among the new names in the festival is Delhi-based filmmaker Pankaj Butalia, whose lineup begins with his 1989 film When Hamlet Came to Mizoram about the popularity of Shakespeare in the state's tribal belt and continues with his latest Manipur Song. "It looks at the consequences of violence on ordinary people," says Butalia about the 2008 film.
"There is a new element this year. We felt that the history of the documentary film movement in India was being forgotten. The section 'Hidden History of the Documentary' contains some rarely seen films of S. Sukhdev (India '67 and And Miles To Go), Pramod Pati (Multiple Perspective and Explorer) and SNS Shastri (I Am Twenty) from the Films Division archives," says Sen.
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