Film Archive

Presence

Documentary Film
India
2012
18 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ekta Mittal, Maraa
Yashaswini Raghunandan, Ekta Mittal
Paromita Dhar
Abhro Banerjee
Budhaditya Chattopadhay
An elevated railway construction site in a big Asian city: a transit space, the new nibbling away at the old, frictional losses between remembering and forgetting, a teeming wasteland, a growth in the old city’s tissue. The population of this site consists of workers, mainly working nomads from far away. They bring not only their manpower but their own and highly diverse customs, traditions and (hi)stories. These stories are like bottled genies and sometimes, usually at night, they resume their shape in the telling, flowing out of their narrow vials to haunt the half finished railway tracks, marauding component parts and provisional handrails. Sometimes beautiful, occasionally dreary, even scary, these spooks reach our ears. The visible reality doesn’t care, would deny having anything to do with these goings-on. But for the duration of this film, reality has been expanded, filled with the fleeting aura of the supernatural.

– Ralph Eue
International Programme 2012
When Hari Got Married Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam

It’s okay when you’ve never seen your bride before the wedding. But what will she be like? Forced marriage in India as a comedy with a touch of Bollywood, featuring an enchanting hero.

When Hari Got Married

Documentary Film
India,
Norway,
UK,
USA
2012
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ritu Sarin, White Crane Films
Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam
Arjun Sen
Tenzing Sonam
Tenzing Sonam
Tenzing Sonam
Saying “I love you” on the phone presupposes a personal history. But Hari has never met his future bride Suman, with whom he exchanges these tender words daily over the phone while driving his taxi over the bumpy streets of his Indian hometown at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains. It’s an arranged wedding, its history the thousand-year-old tradition behind it. Hari’s father won’t rest until his youngest son, who is already 30 after all, is finally married. He invests all his money in this project, for one thing is certain: the wedding will be colourful and expensive.
Who wants to make their father unhappy? And yet Hari has found a way to soften the tradition a bit: his mobile phone. “When you talk on the phone every day you would even fall in love with a stone”, he says in his inimitable and practical way. The usually cheerful young man’s straightforwardness is a constant surprise. And yet the closer the wedding approaches the more thoughtful and withdrawn the young man seems to be. Because he knows that Suman is not a stone and there’s a real concern that she won’t be able to handle the separation from her family. This unusual love must still pass its acid test – at the end of a long ceremony on which the bridal couple have the least influence. The story of this traditional wedding comes alive with its small signs of cautious modernisation to which Hari makes his modest contribution.
– Lars Meyer