In the month of February, Vikalp Bengaluru (Films for Freedom) brings you films about three unique families.
Feb 15, 16 and 17 at 6.30 pm
Nani Cinematheque, Centre for Film and Drama
5th floor, Sona Towers, 71 Millers Road, Bangalore 560052
For directions, please click the link on the right
Entrance for members only. Please bring your membership cards. If you are not a member, please come to the venue half an hour before the screening and register.
Feb 15, 6.30 pm
Dir: Albert and David Maysles
USA, 1976, 94 minutes
Feb 16, 6.30 pm
Snapshots from a Family Album
Dir: Avijit Mukul Kishore
India, 2004, 63 minutes
Feb 17, 6.30 pm
Salata Baladi (House Salad)
Dir: Nadia Kamel
Egypt, 2007, 105 minutes
Director Nadia Kamel will be present for the screening
Grey Gardens (USA, 1976, 94 min)
Dir: Albert and David Maysles
Grey Gardens is the unbelievable but true story of Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Mother and daughter live in a world of their own behind the towering privets that surround their decaying 28-room East Hampton mansion known as “Grey Gardens,” a place so far gone that the local authorities once threatened to evict them for violating building and sanitation codes. The incident made national headlines — American royalty, living in squalor! For the Beales were nothing short of the upper crust. Mrs. Beale, a.k.a. “Big Edie,” was a born aristocrat, sister of “Black Jack” Bouvier, Jackie O’s father. “Little Edie” was an aspiring actress of striking beauty who put her New York life on hold to care for her mother – and never left her side again. Together they descended into a strange life of dependence and eccentricity that no one had ever shared until the Maysles arrived with their camera and tape recorder.
The Beales were ready for their close-ups. Little Edie — a still-attractive woman at 56 — parades about coquettishly in her trademark improvised turbans (her wildly original ensembles inspired a 9-page fashion spread in a 1998 issue of Harper’s Bazaar and a 1999 issue of Italian Vogue), reminisces about her brilliant past, still hoping that her Big Chance and Big Romance are just around the corner. Big Edie, trained soprano in her bohemian days, trills romantic songs of yesteryear in a slightly wobbly, but still rich voice. The women bicker, prattle, and flirt like characters out of Tennessee Williams or Eugene O’Neill. The film is a bittersweet love story, a record of the powerful and complex relationship between mother and daughter.
Snapshots from a Family Album (India, 2004, 63 min)
Dir: Avijit Mukul Kishore
Home videos have a way of becoming a document of people’s lives. Intimate and un-self-conscious, they record seemingly mundane moments of everyday life that are a study of the family and the forces that drive it. Snapshots from a Family Album is a film that chronicles a family and its journeys over a period of five years.
Manju and Nirmal Kishore (and their two sons Avijit Mukul and Anshuman) are migrants in the metropolis of Bombay, having spent most of their lives in Delhi, the capital of India. The film begins with Manju and Nirmal living separately because of their jobs – the father is a senior management executive in a corporate house in Bombay and the mother teaches Hindi literature in Delhi University. The family frequently travels between cities to be together.
Somewhere in the distance is Allahabad, the Kishores’ North Indian hometown. Snapshots… is a witness to a particular time in this family’s history: that moment when the idea of ‘home’ is being reconfigured across three distinct cities and cultures – of Bombay, New Delhi and Allahabad.
Language, myths, music, culture… all are in gigantic flux today, negotiating the pressures of a global economy, and transforming traditional value systems. The inherent tensions of a liberalized economy and the socialist strictures of the newborn nation that Nirmal and Manju grew up in are now full-blown and out-in-the-open. The film is an attempt to distil this particular experience of the urban middle class in contemporary India.
The filmmaker, a recent graduate from film school, follows the protagonists of the film: his parents, for five years. In the end the father retires from work and moves to Delhi to finally live with his wife of forty years. In a few years time it will be time to move again, when the mother retires and the parents move to Bombay to be closer to their sons.
Salata Baladi (Egypt, 2007, 105 min)
Dir: Nadia kamel
21st century Egypt, spurred by the rallying cries of a global clash of civilizations, risks drowning in a xenophobic frenzy. MARY, a grandmother, and her daughter (the filmmaker) join efforts to give Mary’s grandson, Nabeel, a glimpse into possible alternatives: the family’s 100-year history of mixed marriages.
Like many Egyptians, after a century sprinkled with multiple immigrations, a few conversions and a few mixed marriages, Nabeel is a mix of Egyptian, Italian, Palestinian and Lebanese with some Russian, Caucasian, Turk and Spanish; from his Moslem, Christian and Jewish descendants he inherits a track record embracing socialism, fascism, communism, nationalism, feminism and pacifism.
But as the grandmother weaves her way through the family fairy tales, she bumps into her own fears and the continued silence shrouding one branch of the family grows distressingly louder.
In an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people dispossessed by the creation of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948, Mary has been boycotting her Egyptian Jewish family in Israel for 55 long years.
Inspired by the telling of her own stories and the fresh perspectives her 10-year-old grandson brings to them, she and her loving, eclectic circle engage in the breaking of arguably one of the most vicious taboos in modern Egypt.
For more information: http://salatabaladi.blogspot.com