Indian documentary has not seen much progress. The film director Sehjo Singh believes the state is responsible for the situation.
- The citizens do not trust documentaries, because the state uses them as propaganda.
According to Singh, the state will not fund independent documentaries. Singh, who lives in Delhi, is one of India's best known documentarists. Singh is in Tampere as a member of the festival's International competition jury.
Land Rights Worth a LookSingh has a clear opinion about which of her films are worth watching during this year's festival week.
- Sonamaati. I had no money. The people portrayed in the documentary were difficult. The equipment I had was outdated, Singh lists.
Sonamaati - A Very Ordinary Gold, finished in 1995, documents the land ownership struggles after the Rajasthani desert was made arable. In her film, Singh portrays the disadvantageous position of women and poor people.
- Economic development and globalization have not aided the poor. My films help people to understand poverty. However, I cannot change the world.
The forty year old director comes up with a description of her story-telling methods easily.
- I like to challenge myself. When I see the easiest way to do something, I decide to avoid it, Singh laughs.
In addition to challenges and aiding causes, the director is also fond of creating visual elements.
- I try to create stories. A story consists of misery, drama and heroism. I want to include every interesting visual element to my films, for instance celebrations, demonstrations or private family events.
The Caste System BafflesSingh is aware of the difficulties Europeans can have when faced with Indian cinema and culture.
- Indians have strong ties to the family and the community. Everyone sees themselves as a part of a larger whole. It may also be hard to understand the caste system, and the effects it has even in the modern days.
In addition to Sonamaati, the festival features two more films by Singh. Who is Afraid of Little Girls, which tells of the child marriages of India, was completed in 1993. Singh's documentary Empowered/Sashakt, completed in 2000, studies women's rights in India.
Singh's films are a part of the festival's Indian independent film series.
|Photos:||Tampere Film Festival|
|The film "Manjuben Truck Driver" is produced by Sehjo Singh.|
Indian women's stories at Tullikamari on Thursday 8 pm, Friday 12 pm and Saturday 6 pm (Plevna 6)