This Wednesday Cinema Paradiso screened two extremely interesting Indian movies. 

‘Turup’, which, from its opening frames brings the flavor of cinema, and of Indian’s love for movies. It is exciting, for a cinema lover such as me, to be in a country that can come to a complete stop the day a new film comes out. A country where potentially everyone is an actor – and a good one! So in this extremely international festival, the opportunity to bathe in Indian culture is very much appreciated. 

‘Turup’ is a very subtle and clever drama where a chess tournament, probably one of the most democratic games, becomes the pretext for talking about the tensions between Muslims and Hindus, between casts, over the emancipation of woman, social disparities, corruption in an India that wants to grow, to change, and yet is blocked by the greed of those who gain from such disparities.

Later that night, ‘Cry Humanity’ digs even deeper into this topic telling the story of a man who can’t bury his father, because a higher cast forbids him from using the road to the graveyard. This film is a marvelous Tamil, independent drama, and is beautifully filmed using a handheld camera, which brings the audience right into the very heart of the inhumanity, and shows how the Indian Constitution has been betrayed and ignored. Yet as much it angers me, I’m happy to see this on the screen, and I’m happy to hear it spoken out loud; to feel in the air the smell of change, or at least people fighting for it. Because, as the song that closes the film says: “we’re all humans”.