Sridhar Rangayan’s Breaking Free (2015) is a 90-minute documentary on the LGBTQI movement in India until the great heartbreak of the 2013 Supreme Court judgment. Much like the four-part SC judgments, it explores the link between sexuality and love, questions of identity that the LGBTQI peoples have faced, the systemic abuses from family members, society as well as law enforcement agencies, while celebrating the collective will of the people who kept the faith.
Writing, for Manto, was a violent transmission (or translation) of reality, where language speaks what it hears, and often fails to digest. Writing was Manto’s indigestible preoccupation. He was not looking for coherence, but instability. Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Manto the way a refined artist pays tribute to another. His rendering of Manto allows you to reinvent the writer.
Often blandly described as a “conspiracy thriller”, JFK (1991), its artistic liberties notwithstanding, makes us sit up and ask uncomfortable and unrelenting questions about the government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Beset by yet another jingoistic round of nationalistic fervour, not seen since WWII, JFK, over and above its immediate subject, is actually re-examining the subversion of democracy and its institutions.
The culture of cheating in Nattawut Poonpiriya’s ‘Bad Genius’ can be viewed as enabling social mobility and finding a place in a globalising economy where competition is fierce. Chuengcharoensuking plays the ambivalence and strange integrity of a noir protagonist to perfection who, even as she is on the run, must risk all to keep her word.