Sanjay Kak: माटी के लाल (Red Ant Dream). 2013

In interrogating the workings of Indian democracy, filmmaker Sanjay Kak‘s  माटी के लाल / Red Ant Dream (2013) traces and interweaves three distinct instances of a nation at war with itself: the Maoist movement in Bastar in Chhattisgarh, the Niyamgiri tribal resistance against industrial mining in Odisha, and the resurrection of the left movement in Punjab via the revolutionary spirit of the late Bhagat Singh. At two hours, it does call for your unwavering attention, for the stories that are told in this documentary film, will never find voice in the mainstream media vehicle. Ahistoric, and moving back and forth across the three instances mentioned earlier, Kak manages to wring out some striking voices and peoples who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, of laying down their lives, in resisting oppression that threaten their very lives and livelihoods. In unraveling these peoples and their spirit, (often dubbed by the Government of India as “internal security threats’), Kak incorporates raw ‘found footage’ as well, which puts the audience right into deadly zones of conflict. Some images and content are disturbing, so, mature audiences advised. Watch.

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