Kraanti Ki Tarangein/Waves of Revolution
India 1974, 16 mm, 30 min, Hindi, English subtitles
Dedicated by 24-year-old Patwardhan to the ‘revolutionary people of India’, Waves of Revolution captures the optimism of 1974, when the Bihar movement of students and peasants struggled to overcome years of corruption and state repression in Northern India. Scenes of rallies, marches, student meetings and interviews evoke a fervour that is intensified by Super 8 sequences projected and refilmed in 16 mm, thereby creating a strobe-effect that pulses periodically throughout the film. Waves of Revolution concludes with Patwardhan explaining that many of the activists seen in the film have been arrested under the Emergency declared by Indira Gandhi’s Congress government. In September 1975, one of the two existing prints of Waves of Revolution was cut into segments, smuggled abroad by supporters and reassembled in Canada where Patwardhan added an English voiceover.
Zameer Ke Bandi/Prisoners of Conscience
India 1978, 16 mm, 40 min, Hindi, English subtitles
Under the state of Emergency declared on 25 June 1975, an estimated 55 to 100,000 people were arrested and imprisoned. With the end of Emergency in 1977, Patwardhan returned to India and resumed making a film on political prisoners begun during military rule. In a series of eloquent testimonies, Prisoners of Conscience documents the conditions endured by a wide range of dissidents imprisoned before, during and after Emergency. In an 1983 interview, Patwardhan pointed out that the film existed as a ‘record of all the difficulties encountered’ during its making; many of its shots were ‘determined more by what we couldn’t shoot rather than what we could.’ These constraints were made visible in ‘devices’ intended to ‘show something of the reality without actually being able to film it’. Devices such as the drawings of prison cells, paintings depicting torture, prison walls filmed from long distances and torch lit-marches filmed at night evoke the courage of activists living through military dictatorship.
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Tate Film is supported by Maja Hoffmann / LUMA Foundation