Reason/Vivek (218 minutes, Hindi, Marathi, English) (with a 20 min intermission)
“It is documentary cinema at its most powerful, offering history and analysis as a source of hope. The documentary filmmaker as a maker and keeper of history has never been so necessary. Each of Patwardhan’s films have been politically committed, he has seen them as means of organizing, and himself as part of a movement. Music and poetry have run through them all. But, perhaps, this is the most poetic of all. Maybe, the times call for it.” Jyotsna Kapur, Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media
In what is perhaps his most urgent and thorough exploration of Indian society yet, renowned documentarian Anand Patwardhan charts his country’s slide away from secular democracy and toward divisions of power, caste, and religious belief — and the violence that has followed.
Reason is not an easy film to watch, nor should it be. The film denounces — and depicts — violence perpetrated or fueled by religious nationalists pushing to make India a Hindu state. As Reason builds and expands toward its conclusion, the scale of the dangers India faces becomes clear, and connections are made between the country's inner conflicts and the similar political fires burning all over the world. Even with countless people of conscience offering resistance, the film ends with yet one more assassination. This time it is a journalist.
Anand Patwardhan is one of India’s most respected documentary filmmakers, known for his socio-political, human rights-oriented films. Reason/Vivek, his most recent film, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2018 and it won the Best Feature-Length Documentary at the 31st International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam in November 2018.
Moderated by Usha Iyer, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History