When: 27 September 2019, 18:30 — 20:30
Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square, CINEMA
FREE, Book your place here

Director/Writer: Gurvinder Singh
Country of production: India
Year: 2011
Runtime: 112 mins
Language: Punjabi (with English Subtitles)

Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan chronicles a day in the life of a Dalit Sikh family in rural Punjab as they face the destruction of their village. While elderly father Mal Singh joins his community to demand justice from the landlords responsible, his son Melu, a rickshaw driver in the city faces an existential crisis. Told through dark tones and sparse dialogue, the film is a meditative reflection on the fears, unease and resilience of a people trapped in a seemingly endless night. A debut feature by Gurvinder Singh, (Chauthi Koot / The Fourth Direction), this also marks the last project of Singh’s mentor and celebrated filmmaker, Mani Kaul. 

This session is part of On the Edge of the Fold

Coined by the 19th century Indian social activist and thinker, Jyotiba Phule, the Marathi word Dalit (meaning crushed, broken) is a descriptor for people who were considered untouchables by the Hindu caste system. This term then took on a more progressive and political term from the early 20th century with social reformer Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, at the height of the Indian nationalist movement, as a form of solidarity against caste oppression and colonialism. In India today, discrimination against Dalits is still a very pertinent issue, especially when observed in tandem with the rise of extreme right-wing Hinduism. Unequal opportunities in work and education, violence, abuse and denial of basic human rights plague these communities all through the country. Furthermore, Dalit experiences and narratives are generally either excluded or portrayed in an unfavorable light in mainstream media. However, the democratisation of digital technology and means of production in the past two decades have seen an increase and proliferation of literature and films that document Dalit experiences, opening up spaces for Dalit narratives to take root and thrive. On the Edge of the Fold is a programme of films made by independent voices, representing a diversity of approaches, topics and stories from Dalit India.

Curated by Viknesh Kobinathan as part of the Masters degree in Film Studies Programming & Curation at the National Film & Television School