Following the end of the British rule in 1947, Sikh community abandoned their homes, leaving behind numerous spiritual sites across Pakistan. In the ‘PEERING SOUL’ documentary, author Amardeep Singh takes the viewer to spiritual sites in the remote areas of Pakistan.
Singh’s field research of the Sikh legacy in Pakistan has been captured in two monumental works, Lost Heritage- The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan, and The Quest Continues, Lost Heritage- The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan.
Reviewed by Haimanti Dutta Ray
Title: Beyond the Himalayas Journeying through the Silk Route
Text: Goutam Ghose, Michael Haggaig
Photographs: Goutam Ghose
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Date of publication: 2019
Beyond the Himalayas Journeying through the Silk Route is joint collaboration by award-winning Indian filmmaker Gautam Ghose and British writer and producer, Michael Haggiag. Ghose in his introduction has named this venture ‘a film-book’ because it is based on his five-part documentary, a cinematic marvel, also named Beyond The Himalayas.
Made in 1996, his documentary had been screened extensively on Doordarshan (India), Discovery and BBC in the late 1990s. The book, Beyond the Himalayas, commemorates the silver jubilee of the journey he undertook to make the documentary in 1994. Ghose writes in his introduction:“The so-called ‘present’ is a fraction of fractions between the past and the future and hence the present moments are stored in our memory as recent or remote past. …. This book narrates one such vivid memory , a once-in-a-lifetime kind of adventure.”
In his introduction to the book, Ghose reveals how he came across old negatives and slides which featured their journey through the meandering valleys and endless deserts of the fabled Silk Road more than two decades ago in a ‘caravan’ of jeeps. Breath-taking reproductions of these negatives and slides intersperse the narrative which is based on the script of the documentary. Read more
Filmmakers Anupama Chandra and Uma Tanuku take us through the journey of the feminist publication formed during the women’s rights movements of the 1980s.
Anupama Chandra and Uma Tanuku take us through the journey of the significant contributors to the feminist movement in India in the 1980s and 1990s — Kali for Women, the publication house founded by Urvashi Butalia and Ritu Menon.
The Public Service Broadcasting Trust production explores the feminist publication house’s inception in 1984, its landmark books and their authors, challenges and its closure in 2003.
The documentary opens with Butalia’s room, which is overflowing with books. “I always keep books by women… always,” she says, while explaining how she decides which books to keep and which ones to let go. Images of books invariably appear throughout the film, sometimes tucked away neatly in a shelf and at times in the hands of the authors as they read lines from their own works.
The story of inception in black and white footage; the founders’ interviews generating nostalgia as they reveal their humble beginnings in a garage, the designing of the logo by Chandralekha, a dancer, and the lack of profits through most of the years.
Master director Satyajit Ray wrote a script for a documentary on sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar but failed to make the film for reasons even his son Sandip does not know, says a new book on the subject.
Ravi Shankar: An Unfilmed Visual Script (Harper Collins) is about a documentary film Ray had planned to make, prepared its visual script (storyboard) and even titled it “A Sitar Recital by Ravi Shankar” but could not shoot it. Why? No one knows, not even his family members including filmmaker-son Sandip Ray. Read more
Singapore-based filmmaker Amit Virmani’s debut, “Cowboys in Paradise”, was one of the most talked-about Asian documentaries in recent years. The controversial film on sex tourism in Bali (Indonesia) garnered international acclaim and has been broadcast in over 110 countries.
His second documentary feature film, “Menstrual Man” (2013), is already making waves. The film documents the struggles of India’s Muruganantham, a school dropout who realised that the majority of women in India couldn’t afford sanitary pads and decided to do something about it. A Netflix audience favourite at Hot Docs 2013, the film underscores the importance of empowering women to combat poverty and highlights the power every individual has to make a difference.
Amit is a graduate of Southwestern University, Texas, where he was honored with the Feminist Voices Award.
Kitaab presents an interview with this talented Asian filmmaker on the art of documentary filmmaking.