If you’re looking to see the Taj Mahal, then this film is not for you.
India in a Day started with a simple idea: to create a film by asking for Indians to film one day in their life. In collaboration with Scott Free Productions and Google, millions of people in the country sent over their videos from October 10th, 2015. Directed by Richie Mehta, the film seamlessly combines numerous of videos together to create a beautiful narrative that is as diverse as the people it portrays. The film has a steady pace that balances itself out. At one point you see a village with its outskirts littered with trash, it then cuts to a trash dumping group. You see an old man, bed bound, hoping he can walk again then a cremation site. Then nature. Then one child crying. Then a chorus of many children crying. Full circle.
The home videos show parts of India that my parents often reminisce about. The crowded roads, the incessant traffic, the street food. It’s an India that I experienced when I went there last year. You haven’t experienced India till you’re in a ricksha surrounded by three wheelers, trucks, cars, and cows. Yes you read that right. And true fear is sitting in the small ricksha as your driver makes a sharp turn. If you are an atheist, you begin praying at that moment. But the India that my parents dream about has grown and developed tremendously in the past 20 years. Villages now have wifi (barely) and three wheelers now have everything from phone chargers to wifi. India is changing. Fast.
What’s powerful in this film is that while it captures the magic of India, it also brings to light themes and emotions that are ingrained in humanity as a whole. We all hurt and we all love. The film also doesn’t shy away from touching on many of the issues that plague the country. Everything from a women’s rights protest to a employer discussing child labor to citizens expressing governmental violence. It’s all there, raw and naked.
The film ends on a cheerful note with many people expressing how they feel about their day or expressing their pride for the country they call home. There’s even a guy, in his early 20s, expressing hope for the future wearing a “Never Give Up” John Cena shirt. The last scene is of a family sitting around a small tv watching a hindi serial. A site not uncommon to Indians worldwide, oh how the serials bring the family together.
Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) and The India Center Foundation are launching India Kaleidoscope taking place December 8 through 11 , an exciting new festival that will present film lovers with a chance to immerse themselves in the unique sights and sounds that make up the Indian regional, independent film landscape. These films, which delve into the most relevant and pressing topics facing India, are being made by today’s most progressive filmmakers working in regional languages such as Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, and Bengali.
India In A Day will have its US Premiere at the festival next week.
For more information visit here: movingimage.us/india-