Stories of isolated lives connect with delegates

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 8: Heart wrenching stories of human lives in isolation continue to connect with viewers at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), offering moments of catharsis as DheepanJalal’s Story and Bopem saw tremendous response from delegates on day 4.

With a deserted Aral Sea adorned with ship ruins, the cinematography of Kazakh film Bopem seems to supplement to the conscience of the protagonist, who is grieved by his mother’s death in a road accident. Rayan, an introvert, withdraws further into himself after he is diagnosed with brain tumour.

He uses the fact that his days are counted to kill those connected with his mother’s accident: his father, a policeman, and an aunt who questions his absence from his father’s funeral. Director Zhanna Issabayeva depicts the alienation in a boy’s life through the vast arid spaces of a vanishing Aral Sea and its surroundings.

The delegates broke into applause at the final dialogue. Rayan walks with a red flag on the arid Aral seabed and when asked why he chose a red-coloured flag, he replies, “Red is the only colour I have”.

Jacques Audriad’s French flick Dheepan is about the cultural isolation experienced by refugees forced to leave their homeland and get accustomed to a new life in a completely strange society.

The story depicts the struggles of Sri Lankan refugees who escape to France, following the civil war in their island nation. Dheepan is a Tamil militant, who lost his family in the civil war. He is forced to live with a Sri Lankan woman and orphan Illayal as a family in French street controlled by gangsters.

The mental frictions and frustrations of three people who are stranded in the middle of a new culture and language along with the alienation they felt inside their own house is portrayed through a realistic narrative. The three main actors, Antonyth Jesuthasan as Dheepan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan and Claudine Vinasithambi who essayed Illayel, excel in their roles. Delegates were seen rushing in for the third and final screening at Tagore of the movie which received Plame d’Or award at Cannes Film fest.

Abu Shahed Emon’s Jalal’s Story is the Oscar nominee from Bangladesh which features in competition section for this year’s IFFK. The movie follows the life of an orphan named Jalal, who is adopted and abandoned at various stages of his life. The movie stitches in three stories with Jalal as the common factor; he is adopted from the river and abandoned at the same river. The movie, which was screened at Kairali, received a warm reception from the delegates with many sitting on theatre floor to watch a glimpse of Jalal.

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