A Film with a Film: King of Peking evokes mixed reviews

A Film with a Film: King of Peking evokes mixed reviews

The 22nd International Film Festival of Kerala got off to a start today, and Tagore Theatre – the main
venue – saw film enthusiasts of all ages queuing up for the opening film here. The first screening at
Tagore Theatre was that of ‘King of Peking’.

The film, a Chinese tale, evoked mixed reviews. ‘King of Peking’ portrays an ethereal father-son
relationship, their passions, and how a projectionist father’s intense like for films, overpowers all the
hurdles.
The film, directed by Sam Voutas, reminded some of the famous flick ‘Cinema Paradiso’, and most of
them termed it an entertainer of the top order. A section of the film lovers, who have flocked to the city
for the festival, made it a point to be seated at the venue much before the film started rolling.

Bengali Cinema Facing Identity Crisis: Madhabi Mukherjee

The Bengal film industry faces an identity crisis, according to legendary Bengali actor Madhabi
Mukherjee, the chief guest at the opening cinema screening of the 22 nd edition of IFFK.
Keeping all her busy shooting schedules aside, Madhabi Mukherjee has travelled to
Thiruvananthapuram to be a part of the state’s film festival. The actor, in a special interaction with the
IFFK official media cell, elaborated on the long lost glory of Bengal cinema and the participation of
women in the arena. Though there has been an increase in the involvement of women in the celluloid
medium, there exists a dearth in films depicting social reality, she lamented.
Theatre art has come to a close in Bengal culture. Ritwik Ghatak had elevated the status of Bengali
film culture thereby rendering a novel dimension to the then films. Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, who
provided a platform for the artistic and creative expressions, made significant contributions, creating a
renaissance in all walks of Bengali society. The films of socio-political relevance are hardly emerging
in Bengali cinema these days, Madhabi said, admitting that she finds it hard to connect the present-day
movies with the motifs of social realism and idealism.

Malayalam cinema has carved a niche through a broad and independent outlook, in comparison with the
current Bengali cinema. “The right to freedom of expression should not be restricted. We have to
ensure liberty at any cost,” Madhabi Mukherjee added, while firmly stating her stand on the heated
debates regarding the ‘Padmavati’ controversy.

International Competition Kicks off Today (Saturday) with ‘Symphony for Ana’, ‘Grain’

The 22 nd International Film Festival of Kerala was flagged off yesterday (Friday) with the screening of
‘The Insult’. The International Competition section will be kicked off with two films to be screened at
the Tagore Theatre.
‘Symphony for Ana’ (Sinofonia para Ana), directed by the Argentinean couple directors Ernesto
Ardito and Virna Molina, talks about the life of a teenage girl on the backdrop of the worst times of
Argentina. The second film in this category is the post-dystopian drama movie ‘Grain’ (Bugday)
directed by the Turkish filmmaker Semih Kaplanagolu.
The International Competition section this year is packed with films that stay close to the chosen
themes of the festival. Of the movies that are to be screened, ‘Grain’ is unique in its representation of a
futuristic world.
A special attraction at this section, ‘Grain’ narrates an elegant story that frames the distant future of
mankind. The film is, in fact, an elegy that has been inspired from the Sufi branch of Quran. A tribute
to the great filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, ‘Grain’ enters the philosophical zone and possesses a tone of
deep existentialism.
The film follows the life of Professor Erol Erin, whose quest for a rogue scientist leads to a paradigm
shift, and travels through science fiction and philosophy. The major themes of migration, climate
change and food crisis are underpinned with intense connotations of magical mystery. The movie is
Semih Kaplanagolu’s first English language production with an international cast. Shot in high-
definition monochrome, ‘Grain’ is a visually thrilling piece of cinematic art.

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