The Bengali movie, Labour of Love, which premiered at Venice earlier this month, will be showcased at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, beginning on October 23. Labour of Love, by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, will be part of Abu Dhabi’s New Horizons, a section which showed Anup Singh’s Qissa last year.
In fact, compared with just one Indian movie at Abu Dhabi this time, there were nine films last October. Some of them were classics like Pyaasa, Garam Hawa and Duvida. The others included new works, such as Richie Mehta’s Siddharth, Nagraj Manjule’s Fandry and Aparna Sen Goynarbaksho.
Also read: Why Aditya Sengupta's Asha Jaoar Majhe has no dialogues
Helmed with sheer lyricism, Labour of Love or Asha Jaoar Majhe is about a young Bengali couple living in a recession-hit Kolkata, their humdrum middleclass existence filled with monotonous jobs and punctuated by meal breaks and sleep. They never meet each other. For, the man works at night in the printing press of a newspaper, and his wife during the day in a handbag factory. Interestingly, there are no dialogues, some background score though.
Labour of Love will be one of the 197 movies from 61 countries that Festival will unspool till November 1. Of these, nine features will be world premieres.
Also read: In a first ever, Abu Dhabi Fest to open with Emirati film From A To B
The rich selection includes Egyptian director Ibrahim El Batout’s thriller on organ trafficking, El Ott (The Cat), and the Arabic road film, A to B, by Emirati helmer Ali F. Mostafa.
A to B will be the opener, the first ever time that an Emirati work will do this honour.
The Arab section has Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb, shot in the Jordanian desert with real Bedouins. It premiered at Venice and clinched the best director’s prize. Then there will be 3D documentary Iraqi Odyssey, and Palestinian director Amer Al Shomali and Canadian director Paul Cowan’s documentary The Wanted 18, Lebanese director Ghassan Salhab’s drama The Valley. All these have been supported by Abu Dhabi’s Sanad Film Fund.
Outside this, the titles will include China’s Black Coal, Thin Ice (top winner in Berlin); Turkish helmer Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep, which scooped the Cannes Palm d’Or; Mauritanian helmer Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu, about the occupation of Timbuktu by militant Islamic rebels; and Iranian-American director Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes, which made waves in Venice.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran will be covering the Abu Dhabi Film Festival)