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128 mins | India | 1992
The Director, Sanjiv Shah will be present for a post screening discussion.
The film is a musical fable about an imagined country where mosquitoes are creating unrest amongst its citizens. Those infected rise from their slumber, ask questions and protest injustice. Antidotes made from onions, surveillance of the suspects, banning of the colour red, forbidding the citizens from dreaming, waging wars… the King tries it all to subdue, indeed annihilate, the mosquitoes that are threatening his rule.
The film is also about the journey of Hunshi, an ordinary scientist who joins the battle against the mosquito menace, falls in love with Parveen, a colleague who happens to come from the land of the mosquitoes and eventually joins the battle against the King.
Using a collage of cinematic forms, like elements from popular culture, Indian films, folk-traditions of storytelling and songs, along with documentary footage, the film tries to locate the fictional within the real and historical.
In Collaboration with
Sanjiv Shah studied film making at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. His primary interest has been in the use of the film medium as a tool for communication and it’s use for social and political awareness.
He has produced, directed, and edited several documentaries on varied subjects, ranging from the impact of sustained scarcity on pastoral communities to re-visiting the route of the Salt March, which was a key event in the movement for India’s Independence.
He has also worked as independent editor of documentaries and one feature film (Mirch Masala), besides assisting on documentaries made by other film makers.
His recent film A Place to Live explores the state of housing in India.
One of the leading documentary cinematographers in India, Navroze Contractor shot with Indian and international filmmakers. His documentaries include Ballad of Pabu by George Luneau, Dreams of the Dragon’s Children shot entirely in China, by Pierre Hoffmann, Are You Listening by Martha Stewart, and the Last House in Bombay by Luke Jennings. His major Indian films are What has Happened to this City, Something like a War, The Legacy of Malthus, The Advocate, Invoking Justice and We Have Not Come Here to Die by Deepa Dhanraj.
His feature films include Mani Kaul’s Duvidha, amongst many others. His still photographs on jazz musicians are in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum in the USA.
Navroze Contractor passed away on the 18th of June 2023, in a tragic road accident. This screening is in his memory.