By Mary Ann Chacko & Mosarrap H. Khan
In this Cafe Dissensus Conversation, Director Jayan K. Cherian discusses his new film, Papilio Buddha, which deals with the land-struggles of dalits and adivasis in the Western Ghats of Kerala. He further discusses homosexuality, gender violence, Indian nationalism, and Gandhian politics.
Shot in the picturesque Wayanad District of Kerala, in Southern India, Papilio Buddha narrates the political struggle waged by landless Dalits against the State. The film poignantly captures the multiple layers of inhumanity faced by this marginalized community at the hands of state agencies, upper caste members, Gandhian politics and well-intentioned NGOs. The film garnered much controversy owing to its raw portrayal of police atrocities against the Dalits, gender violence, and especially for its critique of Gandhian politics. The film was initially banned in India, and later certified but only after numerous cuts, blurs, and muted conversations. On its way now to the Berlin Film Festival, Papilio Buddha has already won numerous accolades. This includes the Special Jury Award for direction at the 2012 Kerala State Film Awards and second prize for Best Narrative Feature Film at the Athens International Film and Video Festival. Papilio Buddha also won awards for Best Cinematographer (M. J.Radhakrishnan) and Best Art Director (Manu Perunna) at the 2013 Oaxaca Film Fest in Mexico.
[Please use the HD mode and a headphone for a better effect.]
Mary Ann Chacko & Mosarrap H. Khan are Editors, Cafe Dissensus.
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