Directed by Indira Zen, ‘Catharsis’ is the story of a political attack victim and the person who assaulted him.

This powerful Malayalam short film shows the aftermath of senseless political attacks
news Political Violence Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 14:37

It’s a simple yet powerful story built upon the meeting of two individuals – a bedridden man and the who attacked him and caused him to be bedridden.

Malayalam short film Catharsis (Silencing Revelations) tells us what all the much-debated articles, news stories or even books have not been able to – how lives are devastated by the attacks done by hardcore workers of political parties in the name of ideologies.

Written and directed by 54-year-old filmmaker Indira Zen, the 34-min short film revolves around Gopi. A victim of a political attack that happened six or seven years ago, Gopi has been confined to his bed. He is more worried about his elderly mother and his wife who have to take care of him like a kid, right from making him sit up on bed to brushing his teeth and feeding him.

The story is set in Kannur, the northern district of Kerala which has witnessed scores of people killed by workers of rival parties. It shows Sajith, the man who hacked Gopi, forced to find asylum in Gopi’s home one night to save his life when chased by political rivals.

“The film is mapping out the malady of political vendetta in the state. The victims are caught in ideological crossfire, ironically hailed as martyrs. But the victims and their families are made to suffer throughout their life,” said Deepa VM, a freelance journalist who wrote the subtitles for the movie.

The intensity of the story, also penned by Indira, leaves the viewers shocked. It is so effectively communicated that you feel there is no better way to narrate how lives are no more the same for the victims of political attacks and their families. It is well-summarised in the words of Gopi, who says to Sajith: “What I want is to do my own chores without troubling my wife and mother” and his mother who says, “No political party can give back a son to his mother, husband to his wife… though there will be nine party workers if they lose one worker." 

Indira Zen

Catharsis won the special jury award for the best short film and Prathap P Nair won the best director of cinematography at the 5th National Documentary Short Film Festival (NDSF), Thrissur recently. It was also selected as the best short film at the Contact (organisation of artists and technicians of Malayalam television industry) film festival in January and was selected to show in the competition section of the Mumbai International Film Festival of India held in December.

 Indira Zen began her journey in the film industry two decades ago. She assisted ace filmmaker PA Backer. She also used to be an associate of film editor Beena Paul.

 

 

 

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