Yudhijit Basu’s Kalsubai (2021)

The festival catalogue mentions Yudhijit Basu’s Kalsubai (India; Grand Online Prize of the City of Oberhausen) as an ethnographic film, which turns out to be a ruse for this intensely political film.

Tomorrow My Love (2021). Gitanjali Rao

Watching Gitanjali Rao’s Tomorrow My Love (2021) is like watching an iceberg of complex emotions and states-of-mind about life, death, and the sense of goodbyes.

Rehana (2021), Abdullah Mohammad Saad

Sexual assault, unfortunately, has been with us. What has changed is the way we respond to it. The “me-too” movement changed the currency of the topic and in some ways, made it global, marking commonality shared by women across cultures.

Jaggi (2021), Anmol Sidhu

Sex is the driver of both the conscious and the unconscious realms of the social field. Think of Bollywood. Prudish and censorious of any explicit sexuality in its images, the industry relishes the opportunity to expose a woman’s body in its “item numbers” and women’s costumes.

Once Upon a Time in Calcutta (2021), Aditya Vikram Sengupta

The name of the city indicates a past, tainted in part because of its colonial history, and soaked in part with memories of generations of inhabitants. Mrinal Sen called Calcutta his “El Dorado,” a treasure-house of contrasts that brought him pain and joy.

Shoebox (2021), Faraz Ali (IFFLA 2022)

There is an inane and tragic irony in the tendency to change the names of the cities in India. Bombay changed to Mumbai and Madras to Chennai, presumably to return to the ‘native’ names while shedding off the colonial connotations of the older titles.

Sthalpuran/ Chronicles of Space (2020), Akshay Indikar

Dighu is traveling to a town in Konkan area to his grandparents’ place with his sister Durga and his mother. It becomes apparent that his father has suddenly left the family and they must find a home and a life.

Laila Aur Satt Geet/ The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs (2020), Pushpendra Singh

The image of Laila (Navjot Randhawa), facing directly at the camera appears early in the film, the colorful print dress of the nomadic Gujjar-Bakwarwali tribe to which she belongs, against the backdrop of the forest behind her.

Pebbles (2021), P. S. Vinothraj

The kinetic energy of walks that Ganapathy (Karuththadaiyan) takes in P. S. Vinothraj’s debut feature film, Pebbles (2021) is palpable from start to finish.