Amar Kanwar: Reality, the Imagination and Poetry
A SEASON OUTSIDE (30 minutes 1997 )
There is perhaps, no border outpost in the world quite like Wagah, where this film begins its exploration. An outpost where every evening people are drawn to a thin white line… and probably anyone in the eye of a conflict could find themselves here. A Season Outside is a personal and philosophical journey through past generations, conflicting positions, borders and time zones.
Direction Amar Kanwar Camera - Dilip Varma Editing – Sameera Jain Sound - Uma Shankar Research- Dilip Simeon
TO REMEMBER (Silent, 8 minutes 2003)
Gandhi was born on the 2nd of October 1869 in the state of Gujarat. He was assassinated on 30th January 1948 in New Delhi. This short silent film is homage to Gandhi; it is about his assassination and the massacres that happened just a few months ago .To Remember is about a gallery and the smell of death.
Direction Amar Kanwar , Camera - Dilip Varma, Amar Kanwar
Editing – Sameera Jain
A NIGHT OF PROPHECY (77 minutes 2002)
Is it possible to understand the passage of time through poetry? And if that were so even for one special moment then would it be possible to see the future? The film travels in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland and Kashmir trying to understand the past, the severity of conflict and the cycles of change. Through poetry you suddenly see where each and all the territories are heading to, where you belong and where to intervene, if you want to. The different poetic narratives merge together, allowing us to see a more universal language of symbols and meanings. The moment when this merger in the mind takes place is the simple moment of prophecy.
Direction Amar Kanwar ,
Camera – Ranjan Palit
Editing - Sameera Jain
Sound - Asheesh Pandya
On the Trilogy – ( Amar Kanwar )
The trilogy: A Season Outside (1998), A Night of Prophecy (2002) and To Remember (2003) emerged from a thematic exploration of power, violence, sexuality and justice. The films search the passages of time for translucent symbols hidden within the 'ordinariness' of our lives. Do these spaces connect intimate zones with larger social processes, public events and legends?
A Season Outside mediated personal and philosophical zones of violence and nonviolence. A Night of Prophecy slipped into the tortuous fault-lines in the subcontinent, whose poetry provides hope of understanding time and the future. The two films contradicted and complemented each other, sometimes denying and challenging, at times spiraling around each other. Their multiple tangles of dreams, reality and relentless memories became an extensive personal and historical web. To Remember with its harsh silence seemed to have pushed it into the centre of the trilogy
7 PUBLIC SERVICE SPOTS ON THE ‘COMMONS’ (Duration: 7 minutes, Language: English 2012 )
A series of seven one-minute films about ‘the commons’ made as public service spots/announcements.
THE MANY FACES OF MADNESS (Duration: 19 minutes, Language: English 2000 )
The Many Faces of Madness is a short film that emerges from the reality of ecological destruction and the appropriation of the commons in India.
Direction- Amar Kanwar, Camera- Dilip Varma, Ranjan Palit, Amar Kanwar,Editing- Hasan Rashid
BAPHLIMALI 173 (Duration: 28 minutes; Language: Available in English, Hindi and Oriya versions 2001)
Baphlimali 173 is a film about the resistance movement of the Kashipur tribals in South Orissa against bauxite mining and aluminum companies. The film was shot in 1999- 2000 and was the first film to be made about the Kashipur struggle. While much has happened since then the film provides a glimpse of the early years of this struggle.
Direction Amar Kanwar, Camera- Dilip Varma, Ranjan Palit
FREEDOM/ AZADI (Duration: 58 minutes, Language: English /Hindi 2002)
FREEDOM is a film about nature and captivity, about working people resisting an onslaught on their livelihoods, about democracy, profit and the sound of the rain.
From the British colonial empire to the globalisation of today, from the anti mining tribal resistance in Kashipur and Gandhmardhan in Orissa, the mass movements in Chhattisgarh to the coastal communities in their struggle againt big ports and industrial parks in Kutch and Umbergaon, - the film FREEDOM documents and presents insights into many different peoples struggles in India.
Direction Amar Kanwar, Camera- Dilip Varma, Ranjan Palit, Amar Kanwar, M. R. Baruah, Editing –Sameera Jain
THE LIGHTNING TESTIMONIES (113 minutes, 2007)
Why is one image different from the other? Why does an image seem to contain many secrets? What can release them so as to suddenly connect with many unknown lives?
The Lightning Testimonies reflects upon a history of conflict in the Indian subcontinent through experiences of sexual violence.
Direction Amar Kanwar
Editing Sameera Jain
Camera Ranjan Palit
Additional Camera Dilip Verma, Amar Kanwar
Sound Suresh Rajamani
Graphic Design Sherna Dastur
KING OF DREAMS (English, 30 minutes, 2001)
Is about sex and the violence that can operate in the familiar space where desire meets love. Based on a narrative that integrates several anonymous first person narratives King of Dreams travels through the ‘so called stereotypical’ terrains of masculinity and sexuality in India.
Direction Amar Kanwar, Camera - Dilip Varma, Ranjan Palit
Editing – Sameera Jain, Sound – Sunder
THE TORN FIRST PAGES Part 1
(ONLY PART 1 AVAILABLE FOR AUDITORIUM SCREENING)
“Imagine the formal presentation of poetry as evidence in a future war crimes tribunal. Imagine nineteen sheets of paper floating forever in the wind…" (Amar Kanwar)
The Torn First Pages is a 19 projection video installation in three parts. Presented in honor of the Burmese bookshop owner Ko Than Htay, who was imprisoned for 'tearing out the first page' of all books and journals that he sold and which contained ideological slogans from the military regime. The Torn First Pages is also an ode to the thousands engaged in the struggle for democracy in Burma. The films directly, elliptically and metaphorically encounter resistance and the struggle for a democratic society, contemporary forms of non-violence, political exile, memory and dislocation.
THE TORN FIRST PAGES Part 1 presents five distinct films.
THE FACE (4 min 35 sec, Sound)
THET WIN AUNG (4 min 35 sec, Silent)
MA WIN MAW OO( 4 min 35 sec, Silent)
THE BODHI TREE (7 min 4 sec, Sound)
SOMEWHERE IN MAY (38 min, Sound)
Direction and Camera – Amar Kanwar
Editing – Anupama Chandra
We know what Pinochet and Idi Amin looked like but have you seen the face of the Supreme Burmese dictator Senior General Than Shwe?
THET WIN AUNG
How to remember you Thet? A lifetime and fifty-nine years in a single moment.
MA WIN MAW OO how to bring back your memory Ma Win Maw Oo and that day in 1988?
THE BODHI TREE A short film about an artist’s studio under tree.
Somewhere in May lies within the intersection of freedom and claustrophobia, democracy and its simulation, the holy mission of great national projects and the individual’s relationship with the politics of today.
END OF PART 1 OF THE TORN FIRST PAGES
HENNINGSVAER (15 Minutes, 2006)
Henningsvaer is about being in exile and the thin line that can exist between paradise and prison. Filmed entirely through glass, this film is located on the famous cod fishing island of Henningsvaer in Norway in the Arctic Circle.
Direction Amar Kanwar
Camera - Amar Kanwar, Ranjan Palit
Editing – Sandhya Kumar
A LOVE STORY (5 minutes 37 seconds, 2011)
The film A Love Story is a miniature narrative in four acts where time becomes fluid as the image is distilled to it's inner self.
The SCENE OF CRIME (42 minutes, 2012)
“I have been filming the resistance of local communities in the state of Orissa, to the industrial interventions taking place since 1999. In 2010, I returned again to Orissa but this time to film, in particular, the terrain of this devastating conflict. Almost every image in this film lies within specific territories that are proposed industrial sites and are in the process of being acquired by government and corporations in Orissa. Every location, every blade of grass, every water source, every tree that is seen in the film is doomed to extinction. In this ‘war by the state against its own land and people’ The Scene of Crime is an experience of the battleground and the personal lives that exist within this natural landscape.
Direction Amar Kanwar , Camera - Dilip Varma, Editing – Sameera Jain