44th edition 21 January - 1 February 2015

Alms for the Blind HorseBF-2012 
Anhey ghorhey da daan

In the Punjab region during one turbulent night, a home is demolished at the orders of the landlord. In the morning, the whole village protests. A film dealing with the marginalized and the exploited in a universally and cinematically appealing manner.

In a refined balladic manner, this atmosphere-driven film tackles the fate of a repressed family in a village in the Punjab. The old and ill father joins a villagers’ protest against a landlord responsible for demolishing a house. His son Melu, a rickshaw driver in a nearby town who was injured during a labour strike, takes to drinking and wandering the streets. On the night of the lunar eclipse, some gunshots are heard and the village is impregnated with tension. Poor and marginalized, the characters silently but emphatically emanate restlessness and discontent.
The director creatively uses space as the silent witness of events. The successfully chosen cast of mostly authentic villagers contribute with their minimalistic performances to the contemplative atmosphere of the film. This was the last project of the late great Indian cineaste Mani Kaul, who acted as creative producer in this remarkable debut.

Jammer maar ik kon de aandacht er niet bijhouden. Misschien wel door te veel films op één dag.
Webreview from on 5 February 2012 10:59
Mooie, rustige film over een dag van een familie in de Punjab, stad en platteland. De regisseur wil geen tekst/uitleg geven. Hij schuwt van voorspelbaarheid. Eigen interpretatie moet vanzelf komen. Heeft een geheel eigen stijl, mooie close-ups, het dragen/wikkelen vd tulband wordt heel subtiel doch fraai vormgegeven. De dorpelingen zijn helemaal zichzelf, bijna statig en deftig, ondanks dat ze het niet breed hebben, maar hun waardigheid betekent veel. Er wordt Punjabi-taal gesproken. Authentiek, hier en daar traditioneel.
Opkomen voor jezelf.
Webreview from Aruna Jagesar on 3 February 2012 23:16
During his introduction the film director told us that India produces many films per year, mostly for the masses, of which at most 10% can be deemed of the “art house” category. He attended film school not long ago, and always wanted to develop his own style. And he did with great success, if I may give my opinion upfront.
He spent five years in the Punjab region, while himself coming from an other province. He preferred to shoot without “actors” (=people with this title on their business card), but employed local people instead. He had to specifically instruct them to behave normally (=do not act). These ad-hoc actors were beautifully portrayed (in more than one meaning of the word) by virtue of long close ups and also long silences. This perfectly blends in with the way of living in this region. The same can be said about the overall slow pacing of this film. Even a still scene can create its own sound and tell what's going on, if I may quote the director. It leaves the concept of time open for interpretation by the viewer (the story can cover days, weeks, whatever).
A lot of couleur locale was thrown in as a bonus. We witnessed some colorful, creative cursing by one of the women in two scenes. Also, a quote from one of the men is worth recalling: “When God gave wisdom, we were overlooked”. The general attitude of the locals is to accept their fate, having the feeling that they can't (won't) do much about it.
As a matter of fact, as told by the director, life is becoming very difficult for the common man in that region. We saw a few men with money and power, very few I assume, and the rest tries to make ends meet but is bound to fail eventually. By the way: I could not help myself wondering what all these people do for a living.
All in all, a perfect inside view in a part of the world we never see. The average Bollywood movie provides us with a very different view on the country, and this film is a welcome exception. I gave he maximum score for the audience award when leaving the theater.
Webreview from JvH48 on 3 February 2012 17:57
India 2011
DirectorGurvinder Singh
ProducerNina Lath Gupta
 National Film Development Corporation India
ScenarioGurvindar Singh, based on the novel by Gurdial Singh
CastMal Singh
 Samuel John
 Sarbjeet Kaur
 Dharminder Kaur
 Emmanuel Singh
 Kulwinder Kaur
 Lakha Singh
 Gurvinder Makhna
PhotographySatya Rai Nagpaul
EditorUjjwal Chandra
Production designPankaj Dhiman
Sound designMandar Kulkarni
MusicCatherine Lamb
Film format35mm
2012 Bright Future

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