Mushrooms
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    Mushrooms

    Chatrak

    Directed by

    France, India

    2011

    90 min

    • Hindi

    Drama

    Cannes IFF - Directors' Fortnight

    In a forest, near a border, a young Bengali and a European soldier attempt to get the better of one another. In Calcutta, Rahul, an architect who had gone off to build a career in Dubai, begins a huge construction site. He is reunited with his girlfriend, Paoli, who has long awaited his homecoming, living alone far from her family. Both set out to find Rahul's brother, who is said to have gone mad and who lives in the forest and sleeps in thee trees.

    Credits

    Cast
    Paoli Dam
    Sudip Mukherjee
    Tómas Lemarquis
    Sumeet Thakur
    Screenplay
    Vimukthi Jayasundara
    Cinematography
    Channa Deshapriya
    Editing
    Julie Béziau
    Music
    Roman Dymny

    Director's Statement

    Early fall 2010, I was asked by Vinod Lahoti, a film producer based in Kolkata, to write and shoot a film in West Bengal, India. It was such a rare opportunity and privilege that I couldn’t pass on. In many ways, India is like a big brother to Sri Lanka. We share quite many beliefs: Hinduism and Buddhism play a very significant role in Sri Lankan life for instance. Generally speaking, India has always been influential to the people in Sri Lanka, whether in the field of politics, arts and lifestyles... As a student, I learned that most of what was dear or important to me was closely related to India: the tooth relic of Buddha, Sri Maha Bodi and even the Sinhalese language, which is ultimately derived from Sanskrit. This invitation, albeit unexpected, allowed me to fully embrace those roots. So much so that I’ve never felt – during the whole writing and shooting process – out of place, even while being so far away. Certainly because, deep down, I knew that I was coming home. “Filmmakers and architects alike share the same goal: to create something that each and everyone can behold and relate to in this world.

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    Press

    ...the will power to escape a suicidal cultural globalization

    Le Monde

    From the very first pictures, it almost feels like in UNCLE BOONMEE, as the power of the jungle is equaled only the splendor of the photo. We are here in a territory of sensation, not comprehension.

    Jean Roy, L'Humanité

    Another masterpiece from Cannes: Vimukthi Jayasundara's Chatrak (Mushrooms). A dazzling reworking of themes, imagery and charms of classic Bengalese cinema (Sen, Ray, Ghatak) through the lens of one of the most idiosincratic young auteurs of contemporary cinéma.

    Paolo Bertolin, Venice Film Festival

    A beautiful meditation on modern India. The film seduces by its mise-en-scene filled with absurd and unsettling imaginativeness

    Emily Barnett, Les Inrockuptibles

    The cinema of Vimukthi Jayasundara resembles that of Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Palme d'Or 2010 for Uncle Boonmee)

    Jean-Luc Douin, Le Monde

    Vimukthi Jayasundara

    Vimukthi Jayasundara

    Sri Lanka

    In my culture, as soon as you start writing down a story, you imprison it, you weaken it. But if you film it, then you’re freeing it, because you are combining its different elements.

    Vimukthi Jayasundara is the internationally acclaimed director of THE FORSAKEN LAND (2005), winner of the Golden Camera at Cannes Film Festival 2005; BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (2009), in competition at Venice International Film Festival 2009; MUSHROOMS (2011), shown at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2011; DARK IN THE WHITE LIGHT (2015), in competition at Locarno Festival 2015; and HER HIM THE OTHER(Asoka Handagama, Vimukthi Jayasundara, Prasanna Vithanage, 2017), which screened in the Open Doors at Locarno Festival 2018. He is an educator, as directing mentor at Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Film Academy 2016, and also head of Colombo Film & Television Academy in Sri Lanka. His next project, THE QUESTION OF INNOCENCE, which is currently in the development stage, discusses that most certain aspect of life; death.

    Selected Filmography