SARAH AHMAD | 10 JUNE, 2019
The Dark and Light of Living Things
A documentary on George Orwell, and six French films of personality
When you wake an uncanny light strikes you, it slowly lights up everything that you could sight, yet a story lingers in your mind, still stays in the dark crevices of your core. It could see daylight too, but it is buried deep in a mine, or several dusty, dark, muddy coalfaces of your history – never to be forgotten.
And yet you live, through nights and days and inexhaustible nights, through a dawn of ignited invisible air and a dusk of loathe; perhaps you are trapped in a reality, tripping on hallucinations.
Such is life, and such is the ruin of one. Hopelessly and against time we walk, stutter and reach outlandish places in our life – sometimes these places are people, and sometimes these people are the obscurer or a profounder meaning of existence.
The Alliance Française de Delhi brings together visual narratives that weave varied stories, emotions, personas and aura of places and people through six French films as part of its Ciné-Club, through the month of June.
Les Demoiselles De Rochefort is a film about four people and their trysts with love in the city of Paris.
Brooklyn is about a girl called Coralie and her passion for hiphop music that takes her from Switzerland to Paris.
Barbara is about an actress and her meticulous approach to playing the role of a French singer.
Eden tells the tale of a 1990s boy and his first rendezvous with the Parisian nightlife, his love for music and his euphoric, fleeting and dangerous success as a DJ in the Paris house music scene.
Jalouse is a portrayal of a woman’s radical and unexpected shift of character that oscillates between black comedy and psychological thriller.
Maestro intertwines the lives of an actor and a filmmaker not only as working compatriots, but also into a more personal, daily experience of people’s character, spirit, charisma and easiness.
At nightfall the lights flicker to stay, the dusk wraps up all the goodness in dark stale still winds, and what is left is you and me, in our solitary confines – to cricket sounds and shadowy concrete standing in the way to open skies; the stars have gone, the tainted air has become a blanket of despair, covering every strand of twinkle, every hope of magic.
People have led, some have bled, and many have been forgotten to words of despise – yet many have died at the hands of life.
A documentary film being screened on the 17th, George Orwell… In the Land of Satyagraha, traces M.K.Gandhi’s protest in 1917 against the exploitation of indigo farmers in Motihari. This was where Gandhi launched the first satyagraha on Indian soil.
Yet, almost 14 years prior to Gandhi’s arrival, Motihari was also the birthplace of George Orwell, the author of classics such as 1984 and Animal Farm. While taking one through the newly renovated house of the “millennium writer”, the film also plays a significant role in tracing social attitudes in relation to Gandhi and Orwell.
This town is dark, the lights are sacred – the lights move from a tale to another, enveloping the darkness into hopeful beams of uneasy breaths – and from there are born illumined people, a cast of powerful, fearless histories – and slowly yet swiftly the winds pick up to scatter the lights over skies, on earthly narratives, on unworldly woes – turning the dusk into day and the day into an endless night.
A Delhi summer liberates itself to showcase cultural, humane and socially relevant stories on a plateau of amphitheatres scattered in various edifices around the city.
- George Orwell…In the Land of Satyagraha – 17th June at 7pm at the Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi
- Ciné-Club at the M.L.Bhartia Auditorium, Alliance Française de Delhi – from 11th June to 27th June. 10am to 12pm – Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (11th June), Barbara (18th June), Jalouse (25th June). 6.30pm to 8pm – Brooklyn (13th June), Eden (20th June), Maestro (27th June).