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The other West Bengal

Catch two imaginative films at the FD Zone screening that will take you on an aural journey

This Saturday, drop by Films Division for two engaging screenings. While one will tap into the ears of Hassibullah, a 10-year-old visually challenged boy in Tender is the Sight, the other will key into the rhythms of Kolkata in the documentary, Tabla Calcutta. The latter directed by John Thiel in 1969 will recapitulate the rhythm of the Calcutta of the ‘60s with imaginative use of the tabla.

A film still of Tabla Calcutta
A film still of Tabla Calcutta

Tender is the Sight is an independent project of a group of recent graduates of the Satyajit Ray Films and Television Institute, Kolkata. Torsha Banerjee, the director elucidates how she chanced upon the neglected village of Nadia, located in a nondescript district of West Bengal: “Few years back, I was shooting a documentary for my film course in Nadia. I was mesmerised by the cohabitation of Hare Krishna and Allah beside the serene Ganges. Shooting in a blind school there, I met Hassibullah in the enthusiastic crowd of blind kids.”

Torsha Banerjee
Torsha Banerjee (left) with Hassibullah during the shoot of the film

At that point, Banerjee’s intent was rediscovering space through the perspective of the blind but Hassibullah arrested her as a character, “I wanted to be with him, tell his stories; live with him, capture his talent, his loneliness, laughter and stupidity,” the young director shares.

Shot over a month, Banerjee agrees that the shoot had been challenging, specially in terms of capturing sound. She recalls it being hard to move inside Hassibullah’s tiny rustic hut. “We sacrificed using tripod but instead used boom rods to accommodate in the scanty room,” she adds.

On: August 9, 4 pm
At: Films Division, Pedder Road.
Call: 23864633

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