Not available for screening anymore


Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane

  • India 2014; 116 min
  • Original version: Marathi, Hindi, English, Gujarati
  • Genre: Drama
    • Lion of the Future Award & Orizzonti Award for Best Film - Venice IFF
    • FIPRESCI Award - Viennale
    • Best Film, Best Director - Singapore IFF
    • Special Mention (International Competition) - FICUNAM
    • Best Film - National Film Awards (India)

  • Indian submission for the Academy Awards


The corpse of a sewage system worker is found under a manhole in Mumbai. An old storyteller is accused and indicted of instigation to suicide. As the trial moves forward, the private lives of the people involved in the case are examined.

Director's Statement

I was surprised by my urge to explore the Indian judiciary. After all, so much has been done and said in the genre of courtroom dramas. But when I attended a nondescript lower court in suburban Mumbai, the sheer lack of drama, and the casualness with which life and death decisions were being made, was what sparked my imagination. Every face has a story of its own; the stenographer who disinterestedly types away all day, the peon who runs errands for a small bribe, the inarticulate lawyers reading out long, technical passages from outdated law books, the appellants who have probably spent years waiting for their case number to be called out. Amidst all this theatre, are the hopes and fears of ordinary people, who cling on to every word they can understand, as their fates are decided. Although the film is set in very peculiar sub-cultures of Mumbai, the attempt is to explore the invisible fabric of a collective. The characters are constantly acting upon the invisible triggers of caste and class politics, patriarchy, and feudalism. Instead of giving the viewers a release system by demonizing a few and glorifying others, I find it more challenging to lend dignity and humanity to these characters.




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