Films from other sources

Films presented on this page have been produced by independent filmmakers, research and educational institutions on themes around caste.

Aamhi Suryachya Leki

Synopsis

Synopsis:
This documentary is an attempt to find the motivation behind the poetry of 41 Marathi Dalit women poets.

Duration: 76 mins
Directors: Dr. Jaya V. Patil

Broken Voices

Synopsis

Synopsis:
Victims of caste atrocities from different parts of the state of Tamilnadu share their violations in the hands of police, caste Hindus and men. Some of the stories are brutal, some are subtle and some are psychological and all are violent.

Duration: 20 mins
Director: Amudhan R.P.

Notes From the Crematorium

Synopsis

Synopsis:
The film introduces viewers to the world of undertakers, a community that is only remembered in the event of death. They know everything about caring for the dead and treat the dead as their own. They fulfill an important social need, but are among the lowest in the caste hierarchy. They have problems, needs and expectations, but nobody is interested, apart from the dead.

Duration: 25 mins
Director: Amudhan R.P.

Seruppu: Footwear

Synopsis

Synopsis:
A film on the Catholic Arundhatiyars of Dharmanathapuram, an old slum located at the heart of Tiruchirappalli in Tamilnadu, Southerun India:the people here make foortwear, one of the traditional occupation of a Dalit within the Indian caste based soceity. The film brings out the stuggle of the Catholic Arundhatiyars of Dharmanathapuram, who not only face caste discrimination, but also a stiff economic competition as mechanization in footwear manufraturing continues to gow in the era of globalisation.A film on the Catholic Arundhatiyars of Dharmanathapuram, an old slum located at the heart of Tiruchirappalli in Tamilnadu, Southern India:the people here make footwear, one of the traditional occupation of a Dalit within the Indian caste based society. The film brings out the struggle of the Catholic Arundhatiyars of Dharmanathapuram, who not only face caste discrimination, but also a stiff economic competition as mechanization in footwear manufacturing continues to grow in the era of globalisation.

Duration: 65 mins
Director: Amudhan R.P.

Shit

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Synopsis

Synopsis:
A street along a temple wall in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. There are piles of feces in the street. A woman carrying a bin comes and starts covering these with ash. It helps to reduce the stench. Then she sweeps it all up, shovels it into the bin and carries it on her head to the corporation truck. Her name is Mariammal and she does this everyday of her life. While taking us through a day of her life, the film raises critical questions about caste, working conditions, the indifference of the Municipal Corporation, and above all, the complete lack of civic sense amongst people who continue to shit on the street rather than use the public toilets that have been provided a short distance away.A street along a temple wall in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. There are piles of feces in the street. A woman carrying a bin comes and starts covering these with ash. It helps to reduce the stench. Then she sweeps it all up, shovels it into the bin and carries it on her head to the corporation truck. Her name is Mariammal and she does this everyday of her life. While taking us through a day of her life, the film raises critical questions about caste, working conditions, the indifference of the Municipal Corporation, and above all, the complete lack of civic sense amongst people who continue to shit on the street rather than use the public toilets that have been provided a short distance away.

Duration: 26 mins
Director:
Amudhan R.P.

Izzatnagari Ki Asabhya Betiyan
(The Immoral Daughters in the Land of Honour)

Synopsis

Synopsis:
“Immoral Daughters” is a film about five young Jat women who dared to resist. Through their stories, the film shows their struggle to take on the powerful Khaps and confront ‘honour’ crimes, injustice and social boycotts. Their chilling experiences are intercut with the viewpoint of the Khap leaders who believe “our asabhya betiyan (immoral daughters) in the name of equality, behave like animals and want our age-old customs to die out”. The Khaps, who epitomize the patriarchal and casteist pillars of a feudal society oppose ‘self-choice’ marriages and deny young people the right to love. The film travels through the landscape of violence, caste, feudal and patriarchal oppressions continuing in contemporary India, in search of resistance and love.

Duration: 93 mins
Director:
Nakul Singh Sawhney

I Dalit

Synopsis

Synopsis:
This film is the voice of the oppressed, the voice reclaiming their dignity and reiterating their identity. They present their version of the struggle to eliminate caste-based discrimination and the efforts to bring about a social change and equality. It is a part of the efforts to bring together the existing Dalit movements and groups in various parts of India. The groups featuring in this film are supported by Dalit Foundation.

Duration: 23 mins
Director: Nirmala Nair

India Untouched

Synopsis

Synopsis:
“India Untouched – Stories of a People Apart” is perhaps the most comprehensive look at Untouchability ever undertaken on film. Director Stalin K. spent four years traveling the length and breadth of the country to expose the continued oppression of “Dalits”, the “broken people” who suffer under a 4000-year-old religious system. The film introduces leading Benares scholars who interpret Hindu scriptures to mean that Dalits “have no right” to education, and Rajput farmers who proudly proclaim that no Dalit may sit in their presence, and that the police must seek their permission before pursuing cases of atrocities. The film captures many “firsts-on-film”, such as Dalits being forced to dismount from their cycles and remove their shoes when in the upper caste part of the village. It exposes the continuation of caste practices and Untouchability in Sikhism, Christianity and Islam, and even amongst the communists in Kerala. Dalits themselves are not let off the hook: within Dalits, sub-castes practice Untouchability on the “lower” sub-castes, and a Harijan boy refuses to drink water from a Valmiki boy. The viewer hears that Untouchability is an urban phenomenon as well, inflicted upon a leading medical surgeon and in such hallowed institutions as JNU, where a Brahmin boy builds a partition so as not to look upon his Dalit roommate in the early morning. A section on how newspaper matrimonial columns are divided according to caste presents urban Indians with an uncomfortable truth: marriage is the leading perpetuator of caste in India. But the film highlights signs of hope, too: the powerful tradition of Dalit drumming is used to call people to the struggle, and a young Dalit girl holds her head high after pulling water from her village well for the first time in her life. Spanning eight states and four religions, this film will make it impossible for anyone to deny that Untouchability continues to be practiced in India.

Duration: 110 mins
Director: Stalin K.

 

Jai Bhim Comrade

Synopsis

Synopsis:
For thousands of years India’s Dalits were abhorred as “untouchables,” denied education and treated as bonded labour. By 1923 Bhimrao Ambedkar broke the taboo, won doctorates abroad and fought for the emancipation of his people. He drafted India’s Constitution, led his followers to discard Hinduism for Buddhism. His legend still spreads through poetry and song. In 1997 a statue of Dr. Ambedkar in a Dalit colony in Mumbai was desecrated with footwear. As angry residents gathered, police opened fire killing 10. Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet, hung himself in protest. Jai Bhim Comrade shot over 14 years, follows the poetry and music of people like Vilas and marks a subaltern tradition of reason that, from the days of the Buddha, has fought superstition and religious bigotry.

Duration: 182 mins
Director: Anand Patwardhan

In the Name of God (Ram Ke Naam)

Synopsis

Synopsis:
In the Name of God focuses on the campaign waged by the militant World Hindu Organization (VHP) to destroy a 16th century mosque in Ayodhya said to have been built by Babar, the first Mughal Emperor of India. The VHP claims the mosque was built at the birth site of the Hindu god Ram after Babar razed an existing Ram temple. They are determined to build a new temple to Ram on the same site, culminating in the mosque’s destruction by the Hindus in December of 1992. Filmed prior to the mosque’s demolition, In the Name of God (Ram Ke Naam) is an important and telling comment on the rath yatra, on the political cynicism that went into the making of that event, and the communal fallout it produced.

Duration: 75 mins
Director: Anand Patwardhan

Father, Son and Holy War

Synopsis

Synopsis:
In India, as in many parts of the globe, minorities are the scapegoats of every calamity. Nations subdivide into religious and ethnic zones, each seemingly eager to annihilate the other or extinguish itself on the altar of martyrdom. The film explores the possibility that the psychology of violence against “the other” may lie in male insecurity, itself an inevitable product of the very construction of “manhood.”

Duration: 120 mins
Director: Anand Patwardhan

Love Stories In Black Letters

Synopsis

Synopsis:
The documentary is the Dalit political analysis of inter-caste marriages in India, with special reference to Kerala. The history of inter-caste marriages as a tool against the caste system is discussed. The travel documentary moves through the inter-caste marriage experience of the director, and also analyses the political structure of inter-caste marriage culture in new generations in Kerala. Intrusion of racism, caste, color, money, etc., in marriages, love, family and in general society are evaluated. The documentary crew travels to Thudi, an Adivasi organisation in Vayanad, to hear a song composed by students and youth. This has been tried to convert a political journey.

Duration: 56mins
Director: Rupesh Kumar

Underworld Memories of Untouchables

Synopsis

Synopsis:
Underworld memories of Untouchables is the memories of three generations of people in the village of Peringeel. They speak about the grievances, attorcities, discriminations thrashed by caste system in their life and society. The documentary politically analyses the present condition of caste system in Kerala, which is otherwise known as God’s own country. The documentary clearly states that it is power; education and money are the three important things that can uphold a suppressed society.

Duration: 41 mins
Director: Rupesh Kumar

Modikhanyacha Don Goshti

Synopsis

Synopsis:
Sudhir Waghmare’s canvases take us to Modikhana, a typical servants ‘back alley’ of the erstwhile British cantonment in Poona. His narrative, which finds no place in the mainstream history of Pune, reveals the rich and overlapping layers of social and political history Modikhana. His daughter Kranti’s artistic quest for form brings her face to face with the daily violence of the environment of the place she grew up in. It makes her question the available ways of confronting this violence. The contradictions and realities of Modikhana, an area that has seen much transition are finely expressed in the very different and highly individualistic artistic voices of Sudhir and Kranti Waghmare.

Duration: 73 mins
Director: Gouri Patwardhan

Our Metropolis

Synopsis

Synopsis:
Bangalore is being refashioned as a ‘world-class’ metropolis. Livelihoods and homes make way for flyovers, glitzy malls and a shiny Metro. Threatened with violent transformation of their city, residents confront the authorities. Beneath the State’s ideal of a ‘global’ city lurks the intent to clear a pasture for big business. The film captures the city from 2008-2013, a period of dramatic transformation: the building of the Metro; mushrooming of swanky malls and gated communities; destruction of homes, livelihoods and shrinking green cover. Many felt that the State had ignored social justice, environmental concerns and basic principles of democratic governance in its haste to build a global city. Consequently this period witnessed escalated conflict between authorities and city residents.
More about the film here – http://www.ourmetropolis.in/

Duration: 95 mins
Director: Gautam Sonti and Usha Rao

The Death of Merit

Synopsis

Synopsis:
Death of Merit is a series of films, documenting casteist oppression in institutions of higher education, including the kind which results in the ‘suicides’ of young and meritorious Dalit and Adivasi students. More about the films here – https://thedeathofmeritinindia.wordpress.com/about/

Duration: 55 mins
Directors: Anoop Kumar, Gurinder Azad, Manju Rao and Ratnesh Kumar

3-D Stereo Caste

Synopsis

Synopsis:
3D-Stereo Caste, a video documentary on the caste discriminations prevalent in the musical arena of Kerala, is an advanced form of resistance against the mainstream mediated stereotyping of lower caste music. It is not all about addressing the discriminations against low castes, their music and art and instead it is about the politics of classification of music, politics in the sound and the body movements and the politics of the place where these low caste art forms have their roots based and are found flourishing.

Duration: 23 mins
Director: A. S. Ajith Kumar

18 Feet

Synopsis

Synopsis:
Karinthalakoottam is a popular folk music band that performs in Kerala’s Thrissur district. In the not so distant past, when untouchability was openly practised, 18 feet was the prescribed distance that Dalits were to keep between themselves and the upper castes, to ensure ‘sanctity’. P R Remesh, a city bus conductor, is the man behind this exuberant squad that is redefining the identity of a community subjected to senseless oppression for centuries. The musicians share powerful personal stories and memories as the band plays on, spreading a message of equality, love and harmony for all.

Duration: 77 mins
Director: Renjith Kuzhur