The three-minute micro documentary by Aaron Mathew is narrated by renowned filmmaker Sathyan Anthikad.

An elderly woman sits on a chair as two young men kneel besides her, shooting her on a camera, in this black and white pictureShooting still from 'The Invisible Humans'
Flix Documentary Sunday, April 04, 2021 - 15:44
Written by  Cris

An aged woman with bobbed grey hair is looking out the door, a little phone in her hand. A voice, familiar if you are in the habit of watching interviews of filmmakers, narrates a short tale about people with magical skills who once lived here. Three minutes later, the narrator has finished his tale, and the phone held by the old woman begins to ring.

With stunning visuals and a touching script, this micro documentary called The Invisible Humans by Aaron Mathew captures the plight of the elderly during the peak days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kerala. It was August 2020 and the daily cases were steadily on the rise. Aaron watched sadly as his grandparents changed their lifestyle to suit the new normal. Belonging to the vulnerable 65+ age group category, they had to get used to going nowhere, restricted to their home.

“My car-enthusiastic grandfather sold his car at the age of 88. That was an eye-opener for me. I began looking around at other people their age. All of their routines were affected. They had built a lifestyle of their own these past few years and were forced to change it. Now, unless we visited them, they couldn’t go out and meet people. Suddenly their lives were restricted to the four walls of the house,” says Aaron.

Watch: The Invisible Humans

He began his research. Eleven percent of India’s population is above the age of 65. In Kerala the percentage is 17%, and thus affected by the pandemic really hard.

When Aaron and his team first thought of a film, they looked at spaces that used to be inhabited by the elderly – post offices and buses and tree shades. “All the places we are used to seeing them and now don’t,” says Aaron.

But then they thought of a narrative script to match the visuals and got renowned director Sathyan Anthikad to do the voiceover. “We wanted it to be a familiar and deep voice, but not too familiar that it would take the attention away from the content,” Aaron explains.

Sathyan Anthikad doing the narration

Sharan Velayudhan Nair, who did the cinematography of Ambili, is behind the beautiful visuals of The Invisible Humans. Aaron, who spent three years in the advertising industry, began working in films such as Ram Leela and Irupathonnam Nootaandu.

Once they released the film and appreciation started pouring in, the team began sending it out to festivals. It was chosen as a finalist in the Health for All film festival, conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Also read: ‘Aarkkariyam’ review: Parvathy, Biju Menon, Sharf U Dheen are great in this slow drama