IFFK at 20: Films of Jury members to be screened

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 28: The upcoming 20th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) will feature three movies by jury members in the ‘Jury Films’ category.

The line-up comprises international jury chairman Julio Bressane’s Portuguese-language film Garoto (Kid), Ezra by Nigerian director Newton I. Aduaka and Ajeyo (Invincible) by Assamese filmmaker Jahnu Barua.

Bressane took inspiration from literary giant Jorge Luis Borges’ story The Disinterested Killer Bill Harrigan for Garoto, which traces a young couple’s experiences with sexuality and spirituality in a fantastical place where the only other sign of life is a compelling percussive drone. The ups and downs of this post-utopian Adam and Eve story and the darker energies of their world drive a narrative that is quintessential Bressane. The Brazilian auteur’s movie was screened at this year’s Locarno International Film Festival.   

In Ezra (2007), Aduaka trains his lens on the civil conflict in Sierra Leone – presenting its horrors through a frenzied drug-fuelled attack on a village. The events of the night are reconstructed from the testimonies of three witnesses: Ezra and Cynthia, former child soldiers and Ezra’s mute sister Onitcha. It is poignant commentary on the lives of child soldiers, of whom an estimated 3,00,000 were said to be engaged in various armed conflicts around the world at the turn of the millennium. Some 1,20,000 of these children were allegedly combatants in African conflicts.

Barua’s Ajeyo (2014) chronicles the journey of a small village on the north bank of the Brahmaputra in Assam from the heady days immediately before and after Independence to the decades of gloom that followed. Based on the Sahita Akademi Award-winning novelAshirbador Rong (The Hues of Blessing) by Assamese litterateur Arun Sharma, the film is a mood mirror to the personal story of its protagonist, a passionate young revolutionary fighting against social injustice who eventually trades in his idealism for pragmatism and then bitter pessimism.

IFFK 2015, Kerala’s premier film festival, runs from December 4-11.

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