Ralph Alex Arakal
CAMPUS: Film enthusiasts and media students experienced a novel way of discussing film by reaching out to director Ramachandra P.N. via video call to discuss his latest release. The one-hour long Skype call with the national award-winning filmmaker helped the students as well as the director to read more on the documentary The Unbearable Being of Lightness.
The discussion took place as an extended version of analysing the work after the students of I and II MA Comm watched the documentary as part of the curriculum. This was the fourth private screening of the 45-minute documentary. The Unbearable Being of Lightness discussed Dalit issues in the light of the Rohith Vemula suicide at Hyderabad Central University (HCU), which made news during January 2016.
“The documentary was made as an effective way to react to the situation. The workshop which was arranged at HCU gave me a chance to get the students themselves speak on camera on the developments they witnessed on a first-hand basis,” said Mr Ramanchandra.
Students at SJC in common expressed the sense of disturbance that prevailed throughout and after the screening, to which the director replied that the sense of evoking the emotion was done deliberately. “I was totally disturbed while making the film, which made me film the matter in a way that would disturb the viewers as well,” he said. He added that the usage of disturbed images, tilted shots, and subjective records were used to add flavour to this emotion.
“As a film student, some narratives are easy to grasp, but the style followed in this film seemed to be mixed and disturbing, which left me with deep thoughts on the lines of casteism, even after the screening,” said Nitin Murali, II MA Comm.
According to the filmmaker, the documentary was not made at an investigative level but at an observatory pace to reflect how people understood casteism within our society a century ago, a generation back, and at the present. “The style of multiple narratives was used to reflect multiple angles of the reality,” he said.
Wrapping up the session, the filmmaker advised the film enthusiasts on how media can be used effectively. “How you make a film is related to what it is made for. The contents should be seen via the form and techniques used to make it,” he said.
The live online face-to-face session was organised by the Department of Communication with the help of Dr Fr Richard Rego, Postgraduate Research Director, SJC.