Watch ‘Videokaaran’ at The Films Division
Over the past year or so, journalist turned filmmaker Jaganathan Krishnan’s documentary Videokaaran (Videowallah) has been winning rave reviews on Indian film blogs, and it’s easy to see why. The documentary, which will be screened this Saturday, August 11, at the Films Division’s movie club the FD Zone, takes viewers into the gritty world of illegal video theatres where the pirated DVDs are self-edited by the owners, often to insert scenes from porn films, and tickets cost a mere Rs10 per head. We are transported into this world through the documentary’s central character Sagai, the former owner of such a theatre in Rahul Nagar, a slum pocket located near the railway tracks in Chembur East. In Sagai, who was supposed to be the documentary’s camera man, Krishnan found the ideal “character”, one whose real life story makes for more compelling viewing than some of the fictional tales we’re subjected to every week.
Sagai, who inherited his now-demolished video theatre from his “criminal” father, is the ultimate film buff—he isn’t just a devoted Rajinikanth fan who knows every dialogue and song lyric; he’s a consumer of all kinds of cinema, one who would screen a different genre for every day of the week. He is, as one reviewer described him, “part philosophising raconteur, part giggling sociopath” who holds forth on everything from the social utilities of porn films to the childishness of Indian slasher flicks (see the trailer, above, to learn his somewhat contentious views on both). When the handheld camera moves away from Sagai, it turns to his group of friends, who are equally passionate about the movies (the documentary opens with a short clip of that good’ ol Rajinikanth vs. Amitabh debate). Videokaaran, however, is as much about love as it is about loss. At the end of the film, it’s not just Sagai—who opened a photo studio after his theatre was demolished and is reportedly starring in an upcoming Anurag Kashyap film—who stays with you; you’re also left pondering, just as Krishnan wanted you to, about how the advent of the multiplex has robbed our cinemas of perhaps their most passionate audiences.Tags: Documentary, FD Zone, Film, Films Division, Jaganathan Krishnan, Videokaaran
Opposite Jaslok Hospital
Relevant DatesSaturday, August 11
Ticketing & Price InfoFree