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2 items from 2017

Liff Special Review: Newton

16 June 2017 7:35 AM, PDT | Bollyspice | See recent Bollyspice news »

The Chhattisgarh region of central India is rich in mineral resources, but its people live in poverty, eking out a living amongst the fighting that has gone on for close to three decades, with many of them uprooted from traditionally held tribal land. These people end up caught between the government and the Maoist rebels, and it’s this tension that serves as the backdrop to Amit V. Masurkar’s finely chiseled film, Newton. In the world’s largest democracy, free and fair elections are seen as the way to counter Maoist opposition, and the key to free and fair elections is the voting machine.

Newton (Rajkummar Rao) is a college graduate with a master’s degree in physics and a deeply rooted sense of justice. When his government job requires him to serve as an election official at a polling station in an isolated rural area at the heart »

- Katherine Matthews

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Manto’s Stories Are So Powerful, They Can’t Go Wrong On Screen By Subhash K Jha reviews Mantostaan

7 May 2017 3:06 AM, PDT | Bollyspice | See recent Bollyspice news »

Starring: Raghuvir Yadav, Veerendra Saxena, Shoaib Nikash Shah, Sonali Sehgal

Directed by Rahat Kazmi

The stories of Saadat Hassan Manto are not pretty evening-time entertainment to be ingested with a glass of ‘read’ wine. They are gut-wrenching nauseating, stomach-churning renditions of a time when India was split into two.

So were human skulls and while many fled to the new country nextdoor, a lot of legs were forcibly parted by marauders masquerading as political vigilantes. Yes, rape is not pretty and when a young gangraped girl responds to the simple request ‘Khol de’ by reflexively loosening her salwaar we know the times that this film takes us back to must never be visited again.

This cinematic visit to those troubled times serves up a telling warning.

Director Rahat Kazmi must be commended for bringing to life 4 of Manto’s most savage depictions of the pains of Partition. Rather than narrate »

- Subhash K Jha

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