IDFA - Reason + Doc Talk
Muslims, Dalits and rationalist thinkers and activists are being murdered in India today. Through acts of violence, intimidation and accusations such as “eating cow meat” or “treason of Mother India,” a hybrid religious-nationalist fundamentalism is paving the way for a religiously homogenous and deeply intolerant country. With the government standing aside at best, meanwhile, a wave of protest is quickly growing.
Prominent Indian documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan fearlessly examines the situation in his country. He interviews families of victims, extremist leaders and prominent thinkers and organizers, following the trail of horrendous crimes. He takes us to rallies of rationalist activism where solidarity is expressed in song, and to far-right rallies where the size and the normalization of fascism is shocking. Through his masterful lens and elaborate film architecture, this journey into details finally coalesces in the big picture. It leaves us with the feeling that we”ve been to India, smelled the streets, met the people and shared the empathy that shines from many of them.