Monday, April 27, 2009

The Damned Rain

In Gabricha Paus ("The Damned Rain") above, Satish Manwar and Prashant Pethe show the stress on farmers in India; below, the farmer's mother and wife discuss how to raise the spirits of their depressed husband.

Last week, I ventured over to the Indian Film Festival, taking place in Los Angeles. I have been hunting for Indian independent film anywhere and it is SO hard finding any...ironically, more so in India!

(On a separate note, I'm embarrassed to say that the piracy rates are awful in the US. The Indian merchants locally are just unethical bastards...they will make money at any cost. Quite often they shamelessly make money on pirated versions of DVD's, renting out bad quality stuff that they illegally download and charge you an arm-and-a-leg for!! I don't think I mind so much with the big masala flicks...I hate it when they do it to small, struggling independent producers...)

So it was a pleasant surprise to come across some genuinely good and well-intentioned filmmakers at the Festival. The films have been sold out, indicating a demand for such type of films in the US, but it made it very hard for me to see anything. And I can't seem to figure out where I can find this collection of material again.

The one movie I saw, was brilliant. Unfortunately, I can't embed the trailer. But go read/watch it here:; You can also get the main website here:

The film discusses the heavy subject of farmer's lives in India. Vidarbha District (also where the director/screenwriter is from) has the highest rate of farmer suicides in the country. A helpless Satish Manwar stood by and watched this happen, until he decided to make a movie about their life. In a month, Manwar, who hails from that district had the script written down. For four years, he searched for a producer before finally coming across amateur filmmaker Prashanth Pethe. Pethe is a Merchant Navy officer, who works large cargo ships in order to finance his movie projects. This is Pethe's second film; he has done a wonderful job.

If you get a chance, definitely watch the film!

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