The Running Hawker

The film, shot over a period of three years, follows the lives of running hawkers on the trains of South Bengal in India. These hawkers belong to that overwhelming majority of India’s working population (over 90%) who are frequently described as ‘informal’. This informality is constituted by a state of suspension in the zone between legality and illegality. These hawkers, like most of their ‘informal’ compatriots, operate without available licenses and permits. It is in fact also illegal to carry out commercial activities of their sort. Functioning within this situation of relative precariousness, they continue to accomplish a translation of capitalism into its vernacular everyday forms via introducing a world of small, kitschy but also oddly useful objects to the daily commuter. But this commodity trade is also propped up on a world of stories and performances. The hawkers thus fill up already crowded daily trains further, with histrionics and narratives around objects that span over a bizarre range, from self-help books to fish oil. Through the lives of four hawkers and also through a number of other characters who move in and out of the narrative, the film attempts a presentation of the question of the hawkers’ livelihood at a time when the world of commodity trade is increasingly moving to bigger sites of supermarkets and malls in India.

Abhijnan Sarkar was born and brought up in the town of Maldah in West Bengal. He moved to the city of Kolkata to attend Jadavpur University for higher education. He is also a political activist who keeps raising uncomfortable questions against the semi-feudal structure of the Indian state. Currently employed as a part-time teacher at the Marine Engineering College, Kolkata, he has also tried his hand at documentary film-making. His first filmed project, Hul, which was centered around the Lalgarh movement, was finished in 2009-2010. It was filmed primarily as a documentation of the movement with which he was associated as a member of the United Students’ Democratic Front (USDF).

Chandan Biswas resides in the city of Kolkata and is a student of Film Studies from Jadavpur University. Previously, he completed his graduation in Comparative Literature. Immediately after graduation he delved into films, directing and editing films on contemporary social issues. His ongoing projects are a documentary on an overlooked Bengali poet from the 70s, and a documentary on Muslim wedding folk songs of Bengal.

Country
India
Year
2017
Length
94'30"
Original Language
Bengali
Directed By
Abhijnan Sarkar, Chandan Biswas
Produced by
Abhijnan Sarkar
Edited by
Subhadipta Biswas
Sound
Sabyasachi Pal
Camera
Abhijnan Sarkar, Chandan Biswas (Associate Camera), Anwesha Sarkar(Assistant Camera), Partha Sarathi De (Assistant Camera)
Contact Info
1/37, Gouri Apartment (3rd Floor),
Netai Nagar, Mukundapur,
Kolkata-700099, India

Email: abhijnan10@gmail.com
 

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • Some photos from the #fsa2017 closing ceremony on Sunday. Photos by: Katha Haru

    filmsouthasia: "Some photos from the #fsa2017 closing ceremony on Sunday. Photos by: Katha Haru"
    15
    0
  • Congratulations to all the winners from #fsa2017!

    filmsouthasia: "Congratulations to all the winners from #fsa2017!"
    18
    0
  • We are grateful to ALL who made Film Southasia 2017 happen. It was a mighty, collaborative and transformative experience for all involved, staff, volunteers, partners, filmmakers and audience members. Thank you, thank you, thank you! #fsa2017

    filmsouthasia: "We are grateful to ALL who made Film Southasia 2017 happen. It was a mighty, collaborative and transformative experience for all involved, staff, volunteers, partners, filmmakers and audience members. Thank you, thank you, thank you! #fsa2017"
    20
    0
  • Getting ready for the closing show and ceremony! Only one hour left...get your ticket before the run out. #fsa2017

    filmsouthasia: "Getting ready for the closing show and ceremony! Only one hour left...get your ticket before the run out. #fsa2017"
    16
    0
  • Young minds keep us young! Delighted to have students from Kindergarten Secondary School at #FSA2017 today

    filmsouthasia: "Young minds keep us young! Delighted to have students from Kindergarten Secondary School at #FSA2017 today"
    7
    0
  • The Ram Bahadur Award for outstanding film of #fsa2017 is up for show! Have you taken a pic with the award yet?

    filmsouthasia: "The Ram Bahadur Award for outstanding film of #fsa2017 is up for show! Have you taken a pic with the award yet?"
    9
    0
  • Don't miss out on 17 films on our last day today! Thank you to all those who've attended so far. Vid by @garywornell #fsa2017

    filmsouthasia: "Don't miss out on 17 films on our last day today! Thank you to all those who've attended so far. Vid by @garywornell #fsa2017"
    15
    0
  • Documentary watching is serious business! Line up today to watch today’s screenings, the last day of #fsa2017.

    filmsouthasia: "Documentary watching is serious business! Line up today to watch today’s screenings, the last day of #fsa2017."
    23
    0
  • Didn’t think this room could fit anymore people...but I guess it could! A super packed room and rapt audience listening to Director Kesang Tseten answer questions from the audience about his film ‘Trembling Mountain’. #fsa2017

    filmsouthasia: "Didn’t think this room could fit anymore people...but I guess it could! A super packed room and rapt audience listening to Director Kesang Tseten answer questions from the audience about his film ‘Trembling Mountain’. #fsa2017"
    10
    0
  • The day isn’t over just yet! Bring your friends and family to see Cannes Film Festival special mention (and 15 other awards!) film ‘Cinema Travellers’ this evening at 7pm in the Yala Maya Kendra courtyard. #fsa2017

    filmsouthasia: "The day isn’t over just yet! Bring your friends and family to see Cannes Film Festival special mention (and 15 other awards!) film ‘Cinema Travellers’ this evening at 7pm in the Yala Maya Kendra courtyard. #fsa2017"
    4
    0