Nov 2, 2014

2nd Nov 2014; Nagraj Manjule's FANDRY


A film by Nagraj Manjule
2013/ Marathi with English subtitles/ 103 minutes
2nd Nov 2014/ 5.45pm/ Perks Mini Theater

This is  not a story of adolescent love, nor is it a satire on the haves and have nots. Yes, there are a few funny incidents in the film, but they are hardly worth laughing at because the jokes are always against the backdrop of the shattered dreams of the downtrodden. Everyone has a right to dream. And everyone aspires for, desires a better life.Fandry is the story of Jabya's dreams, his impossible, one-sided attraction towards an upper caste girl from his class—the right to education has put them both in the same classroom, but it has done nothing to erase deep-rooted social prejudices.

The symbolism of the final kill and carrying of the pig’s carcass in front of portraits of the very social reformers who fought against untouchability such as Savitribai Phule and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, is just one of Manjule’s angry flourishes.

As is the token respect to the national anthem—a slap on the face of a state that doesn’t value these people but extracts unquestioning loyalty from them anyway

 Manjule tells his poignant tale with elegance, capturing the beauty of the rugged countryside in Maharashtra, the simple dialect of the community (which the younger generation is trying to shake off), the picture of absolute poverty. It’s all so real, it breaks your heart. Most of the actors are non-professional (including the director himself), with the notable exception of Kishore Kadam who blends seamlessly with the rest of the cast.

Fandry is a contemporary film on a subject that should have become history by now. Unfortunately though there are people in shining India who are still treated like pigs and there seems no end in sight to their suffering. Manjule makes a fervent appeal to the humanity we seem to have left behind somewhere.   


Nagraj Manjule

Nagraj Manjule is a National Award-winning Indian filmmaker and screenwriter known for his first short film Pistulya. He hails from a small village in Maharashtra and has written and directed his first Feature film called Fandry. He is a writer and a poet and has published a book of poetry in Marathi called Unhachya Katavirudhha which won very prestigious award called " Bhairuratan Damani Sahitya Puraskar. At the 61st National Film Awards, Fandry won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director while Somnath Awghade was awarded with best child actor prize. And also his First Short Film Pistulya won Best First Non-Feature Film and Special Mention For the Suraj Pawar at 58th National Film Awards.

Born and brought up in Jeur Tal village in Karmala taluka, a small town of Solapur district in Maharashtra, Manjule has closely seen how one has to struggle while getting an education if one belongs to a poor, backward family of a rural India. He has pursued his M.A. in Marathi literature from University of Pune, followed by Masters in communication studies from New Arts, Science and Commerce College, Ahmednagar

His first National Award winning short film Pistulya is a reflection of his 'felt experience',[1] Thereafter he made his debut feature film, Fandry in 2014, which was commercially released in February 2014. Fandry' literally means pig in the Kaikadi language, spoken by nomadic Kaikadi tribe, which is considered untouchable in Maharashtra and film deals with the issue of caste system-based discrimination.

He is one of the important poets in Marathi literature in the last decade. His collection of poems 'Unhachya Kataviruddha' has received a very warm welcome in contemporary Marathi literature, and book won very renowned 'Damani literary Award', also praised by the stalwarts from Marathi literature.

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