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As per-jury

Our young critics had a tough time fighting out and deciding which film they liked best at the Mumbai Film Festival.

entertainment Updated: Nov 04, 2009 20:48 IST

The REAL test of a jury You might think it’s a big deal being members of the Mumbai Young Critics Jury. But for the past one week, what we did, most of the time, was carry Pepsi and popcorn to the theatre and watch movies all day.
Having seen most of the movies and being the diverse bunch of youngsters that we are, it is but obvious that our choices will also be different.

Each one had his/her own pick and everyone was armed with ‘presets of convincing points’ in favour of their chosen movie.
Ultimately, it all boiled down to debates and discussions (better read as arguments and yelling). Stubborn souls and passive go-getters, we’ve had ’em all. The discussion went on for a long time (obviously), and each one tried to put forth his/her idea to convince the other. Finally, decisions were taken with everyone’s consent. But, to be honest, it was not a peaceful process at all.

However, it was a first-ever ‘jury’ experience for all of us, and that feeling, in itself, was great. Wonder how the 40-somethings, who form the main jury, go about it.

Poetically framed
Sirta La Gal Ba or Whisper With The Wind is an expressive story set in the deep valleys of Iraq. The director Shahram Alidi was present for the screening.

Mam Baldar is a postman, recording the messages of war-ravaged people, on tapes and delivering it to their relatives. One day, an Iraqi war refugee asks him to record the first cry of his unborn son on tape. Mam Baldar is set on an allusive journey, his trusted radio by his side.

As he crosses many villages, explores human conditions and meets people, the film turns poetic. The excellent usage of the camera makes it possible to explain the simplest of things. It is not just the story of this one man’s life, but also
a symbol of the country’s state, struggle and isolation.

The reality of the situation is dealt with abstract realism, with bold shots, and gives enough instances of the director’s artistic style of storytelling. Alidi is successful in his portrayal of the sordid situation through the unconventional movement of his images.

Although a simple story, the film moves you like the breeze of the mountainous valleys and you are left spellbound, floating in zephyr.

On a different note
Pakistan has always been stereotyped in movies. But every coin has two sides, and director Nasir Khan has tried to show the other side of Pakistan through his documentary, Made In Pakistan.

It gives us a new perspective of Pakistan, through the lives of four people— a politician, a PR agent, a magazine editor and a lawyer. These four people are the ones who have challenged the conventional view of the world through their respective works. The director tries to make a point— Pakistan is not synonymous with terrorism; it’s a country which itself is also a victim of terrorism.

The documentary shows that Pakistan is a country where people like you and me live, where in spite of all the problems people have the spirit to move on every time there is a problem. The film highlights the country where its people are hopeful about its future and aspire for progress. The documentary is an eye-opener for everyone nurturing a biased opinion of Pakistan. It’s a sensitive topic handled with dexterity. A must-watch.