Going to a film festival
by Utkrishta Mulmi
It was afternoon, we were having snacks after organizing photos for our blogs. Pallav sir came in and said that I, Eena and Anita would be going to a Film Festival in the evening. We had to be there by 6 so because of traffic we would be leaving earlier.
He told us that Yubakar uncle had called him and said that he had extra tickets and he wanted to give them to us. Yubakar uncle also makes films, children from Spiny Babbler Evolution went to see the launch of “Hamro Team” produced by him. Pallav sir has also made many documentaries and also docudramas and 3d animated products. I especially remember “Seven Wonders of Kathmandu.”
Last year, I learned that Yubakar uncle, was on the jury for the Film Festival named Ekadeshma or In a Far Away Land. Every year they have a theme for the shorts, and this year’s theme was “let there be light”. Leading the jury this year was Manisha Koirala, a renowned Nepalese actress who has had worldwide success through Bollywood, and leading the young creators section was Namrata Shrestha, a celebrated Nepalese actress.
The movies were not for children so the sort of grownups like me, Eena, Anita and Yubakar uncle’s daughter Khushi went with Pallav sir, Peter who was a professional photographer who has been to Nepal over the past 30 years, and Yubakar went to watch them.
Went got to Kumari film theatre five minutes ahead of time, it took us about 40 minutes to get there! The parking was crowded and there were a lot of people. We might as well have got there late because nothing happened for the next half an hour until we were let in the hall. Once in the hall we sat around for another half hour before the speeches started.
The festival director spoke, Manisha Koirala and Namrata Shrestha also spoke as well as others. The Nepal Tourism Board director said the most interesting things. Then the movies started. Yaaay!
There were four movies: a Chinese one about a 13 year old who fails and is hit by her mother who commits suicide; a Iranian movie on a woman who was pushed around by her husband lets him die; an Austrian short on taste and feelings which was very high quality production but the topic was less for children; and a Nepali production on women’s struggles including menstruation, remarriage, not being able to have babies, and child rape among other things.
Now let us get to the reviews. Our invitations say:
“It is a proud moment for us, as we invite you to the opening ceremony of the fifth edition of EKADESHMA international short film festival – let there be light.”
A Gentle Night
Directed by Qui Yang; starring Li Shuxian, Constance Schmitt; runtime 12 minutes; China
Reviewed by Utkrishta Mulmi
The film started with a police conversation. A couple’s 13 year old child ran away from school and did not come home. The mother was more worried but the father did not seem concerned that their child was missing. It is mostly shot in the night. The pace of the film was very very slow. However, the director did a decent enough job of keeping the audience interested.
We learn that it was a girl, LinLin, who had disappeared. We learn from her school teacher that she had failed but he does not want to go to the police station to help with the investigation for the fear that people may talk about him. We also learn that the mother had hit her daughter. The mother pretends that the milk van has arrived and goes out in the night to find the child.
She gets on a bus and goes to places that LinLin visits. She goes to a eating place and wonders what is going on. She asks the eatery owner what is going on when firecrackers explode and prays when she learns that one of Buddhas has his birthday this day. As she walks away, she hears that a child’s body has been taken out of the river.
In great fear, she screams and tries to see the body but the police do not let her. She goes to the morgue and a man appears. He asks her the particulars of LinLin and tells her to wait. Then the movie ends. It appears as though LinLin killed herself because she failed and because she was afraid to face her family. The movie was pretty good. I personally would not want to jump in the river and I do not want to die.
As I have learned to swim, I would probably swim the river anyway. I feel sorry for LinLin. I would like to say to her that it does not matter if you fail or if you get beaten, just don’t commit suicide. I would like to tell her mother not to beat her child because she failed. Help her to work harder.
by Eena Shrestha
18 November 2017, Saturday
Directed by Kaveh Mazahari; Sonia Sanjari as Maryam and Mohammad Hossein Ziksari as Siyavash; runtime 20 minutes; Iran
This film from Iran was probably the best of all that were shown during the film launch ceremony. I personally liked the movie because it had a “sizzling start” as I like to call it. It went into the action right away. It also had an interesting story and was dramatic at the end.
While weightlifting at home, Siyavash suddenly finds himself in danger as a weight pushes down on his neck. He calls his wife for help. No matter her efforts to pull the object from his body, Maryam is unable to do so.
Later, it appears as if she wants him to die and then she makes up her mind. Even when he tells her that he is choking she just watches her husband take his final breaths. Though she could probably have saved his life and called for help, she instead leaves home for work, knowing that he is dying slowly.
She continues on her daily work, she leaves her baby at the daycare and goes to work. She calls her mother-in-law, she receives a call from her husband’s workplace and pretends to leave work early to check if Siyavash is ok, knowing that he is dead.
She picks up her baby from the daycare and heads home. When home she checks for his pulse with a plastic bag to make sure she does not get finger prints on, finding that there is no pulse she pretends not to know that he is dead and then calls for help.
Over all I would give this short an 8/10. It was really interesting but I don’t like cliff-hangers, it keeps me worried.
Taste of Love
by Anita Bhattarai,
17 November 2017, Friday
Even though Taste of Love is a nice movie, I did not understand the movie. It was confusing for me and I had never seen anything like it before. I liked it when the screen was red and when she spoke. The movie was 4 minutes and 30 seconds long.
First the girl was tasting many different types of fruit. She tasted strawberries, orange, chilies, French fries. She said she liked different tastes, some were salty, some were sour, some were crunchy, some were sweet. She said French fries she tasted and liked. There are many colors in the film, red, green, yellow, pink, and more.
The girl was pretty and in most of the scenes she was lying down. They would show her eyes close up, her lips, her face, her hair. If there was more content, I think the movie would have been better.
Directed by Rohan Thakuri; runtime 15 minutes; Nepal
Reviewed by Utkrishta Mulmi
The movie was had all the problems of women and girls and mashed them together. It started showing a woman trying to take off her bangles. She was not able to take off her bangles. Her drunk husband came and said that she looked beautiful in it and that she should not take them off anyway. She is angry that he is drunk.
By profession, she is a midwife who helped other women deliver babies. However, she herself is barren and cannot have babies. Therefore, she finds out that her mother in law is trying to get her husband to take on a second wife. In the middle of this story, her sister arrives with her son and her daughter who is menstruating according to Pallav sir. Since we did not really understand what that meant, we did not know what happened clearly.
However, we did learn that her sister had to leave for the city as a human rights organization had news of her husband who had disappeared during the Maoist war. She would leave her daughter behind and told the woman to take care of her for the 12 days and cleanse her afterwards.
The woman gets into argument with her husband when she finds out that he is about to take on a second wife. The film goes on addresses different situations and ends with the girl sleeping in the woman’s bed with the silver bangles on. It was a good movie. I learned that I don’t know about all these problems and issues that women and girls in Nepal have. I have to learn about menstruation also.