Film Archive

That Elephant From the Bridge

Documentary Film
India
2013
26 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

D. J. Narain
Abhilash Vijayan
Sahil Bhardwaj
Abhilash Vijayan
Abhilash Vijayan
Roopak Kalyani
A metal rod stuck in the ground is treated with an oversized hammer. An old man washes his feet. A short-statured artist stabilises his rusty bedstead with a few stones. Over here someone takes a curious look out of the window, over there a little discussion whether the man with the muscles is wearing his shirt inside out or not is going on. Posts are erected, ropes tightened. And at last the big tent rises from the ground. The people turn into clowns and artists.
This film portrays the arrival of an Indian travelling circus in a new town in impressionistic and sensual images. The focus is not on the magic of the performance, though, but on the things that go on around it, the handiwork, the community of very different personalities living under the same roof. This doesn’t destroy the aura of the circus. On the contrary, its mystery is preserved in the fragments. And the collage erects a big top of moods.

Lars Meyer
International Programme 2013
The Textures of Loss Pankaj Butalia

The surviving dependants of the fathers and sons of Kashmir who were killed in the war. The mosaic of a collective nightmare, the emotional trauma of a region in permanent unrest.

The Textures of Loss

Documentary Film
India
2013
61 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Pankaj Butalia
Pankaj Butalia
Arjun Sen, Mohd. Yakub
Ranjan Palit, Pankaj Butalia
Pankaj Butalia
Pankaj Butalia
There is a whole generation today who knows nothing but war in Kashmir, which for the past two decades has been a permanent trouble spot between Pakistan and India. In view of the omnipresence of the military, the smallest spark is enough to set off this powder keg. Almost every family has suffered a loss. The bodies of the fathers and sons are brought home. How to deal with the loss; who takes care of the relatives?
The director’s journey to the various provinces resembles a journey into the wounded soul of a region that can find no rest. How do pain, grief, and fear etch themselves into the individual’s psyche? There are no authorities, no therapists, only the gods and the surviving family who move closer together in their corrugated iron shacks. Depression and sleep disorders are common. A boy can’t bear to see the colour red, so he paints green blood. Director Pankaj Butalia composes the mosaic of a collective nightmare from many interviews and sparingly inserted archive footage of fighting in the streets. With his previous film “Manipur Song”, which was also screened at DOK Leipzig, and his next project, “Assamblog”, “The Texture of Loss” forms a trilogy of the bereaved.

Cornelia Klauß