March 11, 2005
Kranti: A film about here and beyond
Kranti is a film with a difference. This is a serious feature film and also an advocacy film. The focus of the film is on gender-related issues and the values that drive the search for solutions in our pre-dominantly patriarchal society.
The storyline builds around events and three young women in particular. Directed by Mirza Hassan, Kranti is a film about the mundane everyday experience across Bangladesh, and about everyday solutions. But it does not just stop at everyday solutions, it explores beyond the “feel good” impressions of civil society interventions and addresses the more complex matrix of the human situation. It is a story about today and now, as much as about beyond.
Rokeya is educated, somewhat self-righteous and runs the local branch of a legal assistance outfit. She is, in many ways, an agent of value change.
Alekjan is poor. She is seduced with the promise of marriage and finds herself an unwed mother. She may have defied convention when she consented to pre-marital relations but she is convention-bound in looking for a working solution to her predicament. She accepts the imposition of patriarchy and wants her seducer to marry her and give her daughter a father. She comes to Rokeya to seek her help to make it happen.
Shiuli is a simple village girl, not exposed to the contradictions of the real world. When she is married, her brother is unable to fulfill the dowry demands of Shiuli’s in-laws in time. She is sent back; her husband writes her letters and professes his love but cannot take her back. The absurdity of the situation dawns on Shiuli and she comes out from her emotional trap. She teams up with Rokeya and tries to find meaning in life.
Fourteen-year-old Amina is raped. Rokeya and her team come to her traumatised parents and institute legal action against the perpetrator. But before long, events go off on a tangent and Rokeya realises that realities around her reflect life as it is rather than as it ought to be.
Because of the entrenched nature of social values, victims themselves often perpetuate injustice as agents of patriarchy. The film however, is biased and brings an optimistic note to the storyline. The film points to the subtle beginnings of a change in individuals and the community. The accent of the film is on this transition. The visual scheme, manifest in the rapid build up of sequences and the music composition, embellishes this essence of transition into the storyline.
The author writes and lectures on the arts, comparative art forms and aesthetics