Anand Patwardhan

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Anand Patwardhan
AnandPatwardhan.JPG
Anand Patwardhan
Alma mater University of Mumbai, Brandeis University, McGill University
Occupation Filmmaker
Known for Documentary filmmaking. In his films, we often hear him speak as narrator or thoughtful questioner.

Anand Patwardhan is an Indian documentary filmmaker known for his activism through social action documentaries on topics such as corruption, slum dwellers, nuclear arms race, citizen activism and communalism.[1][2][3][4] Notable films include Bombay: Our City (Hamara Sahar) (1985), In the Name of God (Ram ke Nam) (1992), Father, Son and Holy War (Pitra, Putra aur Dharmayuddha) (1995), War and Peace (Jang aur Aman) (2002) and Jai Bhim Comrade (2011), which have won national and International awards. Anand Patwardhan is one of the most vocal critics of Hindutva ideology and the caste system that it promotes leading to the dehumanization and genocide of those outside the caste system, i.e., the Dalits, Muslims and Christians.

Biography[edit]

Anand Patwardhan speaking in ViBGYOR Film Festival 2011

Patwardhan was born in 1950, in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He completed a B.A. in English literature at Bombay University in 1970, a B.A. in Sociology at Brandeis University in 1972, and an M.A. in Communication Studies at McGill University in 1982.[5][6][7][8][9]

Films[edit]

Patwardhan during the show of Ram ke nam at Kollam

Virtually all of Patwardhan's documentary films faced censorship by the Indian authorities but were eventually cleared after legal action. His film Bombay: Our City was shown on TV after a four-year court case,[10] while Father Son and the Holy War (1995) was adjudged in 2004 as one of 50 most memorable international documentaries of all time by DOX, Europe's leading documentary film magazine; it was shown on India’s National Network, Doordarshan only in the year 2006, 11 years after its making, and that too after a prolonged court battle which lasted eight years and ended with the nation’s Supreme Court ordering the state-owned media to telecast the film without any cuts.[11]

His next film is, War and Peace (2002). CBFC India (Central Board for Film Certification, or the Censor Board), refused to certify the film without making 21 cuts.[12] As always, Patwardhan took the government to court, hence the film was banned for over a year.[13] However, after a court battle, Anand won the right to screen his film without a single cut.[14][15][16] As with his previous films, Patwardhan also successfully fought to force a reluctant national broadcaster, Doordarshan, to show this film on their national network. It was commercially released in multiplexes in 2005.[17]

His latest documentary, Jai Bhim Comrade, is based on a police firing incident against Dalits at Ramabai Colony in Mumbai in 1997.[18]

Filmography[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • ...My entry into the world of the documentary began as a means of political, social intervention and thirty odd years later this is still a primary motive. If I am not satisfied with the results, it is not because of a failure of the medium, but because of the limits that our system puts on the distribution of such films. All my films are badly under-utilized and hence did not have the impact on the real world that they could have had...[33]
  • ...In India, the early documentary scene was dominated by government propaganda made by the Films Division of India, which produced newsreels and documentaries that were compulsorily shown before every commercial film. People either arrived deliberately late or walked out for a smoke during these films, and the tag of "boring" became inescapably attached to the documentary. It has taken several decades of sustained independent work to break this tag...[34]
  • ...You have to be a filmmaker, and then you have to be a lawyer as well...[35]
  • ...The real issues of the information gathering and disseminating systems have more to do with what kinds of programs are made, who makes and airs them and what impact they have. The role of the developed world as consumer and the role of the developing world as the consumed may now be complicated as the latter yields its own voracious elite, but the former continues to determine taste.[36]
  • ...It does not need much imagination to see that even in so-called advanced nations like the UK and the US, a great deal of racism and deep-seated religious prejudice fuels the propensity towards righteous war and the belief that one's own nation is always right and that "terrorism" resides only in the other...[37]
  • ... I do not wish to neutralize the horror I feel at the destruction of Buddhist monuments with the thought that my national leaders did the same thing a decade ago. But I do believe that if this act sparks in us the desire to fight intolerance of all kinds, then surely the Buddha will not have lived and taught in vain...[38]
  • ...One problem with our democracy is that a rigid class and caste hierarchy coupled with gross gender inequality has kept large sections of our population traditionally without a voice. But having no voice does not mean having no brain! On the contrary the voiceless have much to say and we can learn so much from their ways of seeing and thinking. Feelings of humanity seem to survive much better amongst the powerless than among the affluent and powerful...[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Interview Tehelka 13 October 2007.
  2. ^ 'Michael Moore’ of India, screening and Interview University of California, Berkeley 13 October 2004.
  3. ^ Silverdocs Documentary Film Festival American University School of Communication 16 June 2004.
  4. ^ Anand Patwardhan University of California, Los Angeles
  5. ^ Films of Anand Patwardhan Icarus Films, New York.
  6. ^ About Anand Official website.
  7. ^ Manas: Culture, Indian Cinema-Anand Patwardhan
  8. ^ Documentary Voices- Anand Patwardhan.
  9. ^ About Anand Patwardhan
  10. ^ Short is Sweet,Tehelka
  11. ^ Father, Son and Holy War The Frontline, The Hindu, September 2006.
  12. ^ Filmmaker's Battle to Tell India's Story in India The New York Times 24 December 2002.
  13. ^ Censorship and Litigation 
  14. ^ Alone against India's nuclear nationalism BBC News 12 August 2003.
  15. ^ Director Interview BBC Four, 4 August 2003.
  16. ^ Film Review BBC Four, 2002.
  17. ^ War and Peace hits the box office for the first time in India Tehelka, 25 June 2005.
  18. ^ http://www.dubaifilmfest.com/index.php/en/movie_details/jai-bhim-comrade/15445/2011
  19. ^ Review India Today
  20. ^ Films Index Official website.
  21. ^ Awards imdb.com.
  22. ^ Screening of screen Patwardhan's films at Stanford University Rediff.com, October 2001
  23. ^ Father, Son and Holy War – Review and Awards
  24. ^ Review The New York Times 26 June 2003.
  25. ^ 3rd KaraFilm Festival Karachi International Film Festival, website.
  26. ^ 51st National Film Awards - 2004 Official listings Directorate of Film Festivals Official website.
  27. ^ http://kafila.org/2012/03/21/jai-bhim-comrade-patwardhan/
  28. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Inheriting-injustice-A-chilling-film-on-Indias-Dalits/articleshow/11459368.cms
  29. ^ Ram Bahadur Trophy for Best Film, Festival of South-Asian Documentaries, 2011, Film South Asia, retrieved January 1, 2014 
  30. ^ Golden Firebird Award, Hong Kong International Film Festival, 2012, IMDb, retrieved January 1, 2014 
  31. ^ "59th National Film Awards for the Year 2011 Announced" (Press release). Press Information Bureau (PIB), India. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  32. ^ Palmarès / Award-winning films 2012, Jean Rouch Film International Film Festival, retrieved January 1, 2014 
  33. ^ Tehelka Interview - November 2009
  34. ^ Anand Patwardhan, the Michael Moore of India -Interview UC Berkeley News
  35. ^ New York Times article, 24 December 2002
  36. ^ Anand Patwardhan and The Messengers of Bad News - SOC American University
  37. ^ BBC Interview, 2003
  38. ^ Destruction of Buddhist monuments in Afghanistan and the Babri Masjid
  39. ^ Filmmaker as activist - The Hindu

External links[edit]

Websites on Anand Patwardhan's work[edit]

Interviews[edit]

Writings[edit]

Reviews[edit]

Video clips[edit]