Anand Patwardhan's most sophisticated documentary to date
I recently had the good fortune of being able to see a number of Anand Patwardhan's films at a retrospective of his work in San Francisco. I had heard a lot about his work as one of the most controversial film makers in India. As he puts it, none of his films have been shown in India without a court order. I could see why. He is one of the few film makers from India who has the courage of conviction to take a very hard look at India and its complex social and political problems. Very clearly he is an activist and his films take on the definite bias of his political views.
In Father, Son and The Holy War he examines Indian patriarchy and machismo and the attitudes it generates towards women and minorities in India. He expounds his thesis using various topics ranging from the Deorala Sati incident and the 1993 Bombay riots to the hilarious scene of a street vendor hawking sexual aids. The film is extremely hard hitting and it invokes a profound sense of disquiet. A must see for any one interested in India beyond its exoticised image.
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