Film southasia

"Festival of southasian documentries"

Red Ant Dream

Directed by Sanjay Kak | |



‘Let us declare that the state of war does exist and shall exist’, the revolutionary patriot had said almost a hundred years ago, and that forewarning travels into India’s present, as armed insurrection simmers in Bastar, in the troubled heart of central India. But to the east too, beleaguered adivasis from the mineral-rich hills of Odisha come forth bearing their axes, and their songs. And in the north the swelling protests by Punjabi peasants sees hope coagulate– once more–around that iconic figure of Bhagat Singh, revolutionary martyr of the anti-colonial struggle.

But are revolutions even possible anymore? Or have those dreams been ground down into our nightmares? This is a chronicle of those who live the revolutionary ideal in India, a rare encounter with the invisible domain of those whose everyday is a fight for another ideal of the world.

[director]Sanjay Kak is an independent documentary filmmaker whose recent work reflects his interests in ecology, alternatives and resistance politics. His films include “Red Ant Dream” (2013) about the persistence of the revolutionary ideal in India, “Jashn-e-Azadi” (How we celebrate freedom, 2007) about the idea of freedom in Kashmir, “Words on Water” (2002) about the struggle against the Narmada dam in central India, and “In The Forest Hangs A Bridge” (1999), about the making of a 1000 foot bridge of cane and bamboo in north east India.

His work also includes “One Weapon” (1997), a video about democracy in the 50th year of Indian independence, and twinned films on the theme of migration, looking at people of Indian origin in the fringes of the city of London in “This Land, My Land, Eng-Land”! (1993) and in post-apartheid South Africa in “A House and a Home” (1993), as well as “Cambodia: Angkor Remembered” (1990), a reflection on the monument and its place in Khmer society. In 2008 he participated in the Manifesta7, the European Biennale of Art, in Bolzano, Italy, with the installation –“ A Shrine to the Future: The memory of a Hill”, about the mining of bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills of Orissa.

Born in 1958, Sanjay read Economics and Sociology at Delhi University, and is a self-taught filmmaker. He writes occasional political commentary, and is the editor of the anthology “Until My Freedom Has Come – The New Intifada in Kashmir” (Penguin India 2011, Haymarket Books USA 2013). [/director]


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