VENICE18 REVIEW: Tumbbad [2018]

“Wake her up and ask yourself” As the Hindu folktale at the start of Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad‘s Tumbbad states: while the Goddess of Plenty birthed 160 million deities from her womb (Earth), the one she loved most is also the one that’s been erased from memory. His name is Hastar and he […]

SUNDANCE17 REVIEW: Machines [2017]

“Poverty is harassment, Sir” The most pointed question asked by Rahul Jain‘s documentary Machines comes from the camera. By showing us the gigantic textile spools, looms, and washers with only their rhythmic clanks, booms, and bangs opposite the Indian workers applying dyes, mixing chemicals, and ensuring there are no jams to the same sounds, we […]

VIFF11 REVIEW: Patang [The Kite] [2012]

“What do you know about true love?” For Chicago-born Indian-American Prashant Bhargava, his debut feature film Patang [The Kite] is a seven-year labor of love. Rooted in the memory of his own uncles fighting kites in the sky, the writer/director decided to fashion his tale of familial bonds around the northern Indian festival, Uttarayana. By […]

REVIEW: Sangam [2004]

“Don’t hijack the train” Showing us two men that could be brothers in another life, writer/director Prashant Bhargava creates a short tome on how their similarities are anything but. For Vivek (Sanjay Chandani) and Raj (Hesh Sarmalkar), the magical crossroad Sangam holds great meaning to their pasts. The pilgrimage point where the Ganges, the Jamuna, […]