In the name of Anand Patwardhan
Anand Patwardhan’s body of work, from Waves of Revolution (1974) to his latest, Jai Bhim Comrade (2012) will now be showcased in a film by cinematographer and filmmaker RV Ramani. He was keen to make a film on Patwardhan after watching his film, War and Peace in 2003. Patwardhan didn’t agree initially but five years later, Ramani captured the audiences at a festival in Madurai where a Patwardhan retrospective was being screened.
A still from Hindustan Hamara
Ramani has said elsewhere that, “I have had issues with his films, though I like him as a person and his social concerns.” Urging him to share these ‘issues’, Ramani reveals, “Anand makes political documentaries. He takes sides with the underprivileged, with social movements, and against the State in power or the oppressor. He passes opinions and judgments through voice-overs, commentaries or through texts on screen.” Dubbing him as a “social activist” and his films as a “political tool”, the FTII graduate continues, “His films are meant to provoke people to participate in social concerns.”
Ramani explains Patwardhan’s influence on Indian documentary filmmaking recalling his film, Waves of Revolution. “There was a time, the so-called documentaries were made only by the State or through Films Division in 35 mm. These films promoted the idea of nation and were shown in cinemas before the main film; often called newsreels. This changed during and after the Emergency,” he continues, “Around then, many independent underground activities in media, literature, theatre, films had begun. Anand’s film was considered as the first independent documentary, because it was made independent of the State, in 8 mm and shown clandestinely.”
On Today, 4 pm
At RR 2 Theatre, Films Division, Pedder Road.