‘Sairat’ Dir. Nagraj Manjule on Love & Being the Voice of Dalits
Nagraj Manjule’s Sairat (Marathi word for Wild), which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, and won a National Award Special Mention for its heroine Rinku Rajguru, opens in theatres on April 29th. An inter-caste love story, it is thoroughly enjoyable and funny, yet hard-hitting.
His earlier film Fandry won the Jury Grand Prize at the Mumbai Film Festival, Best Film at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, and National Film Award for Best Debut Film. Manjule, who hails from Jeur village in Sholapur, is an accomplished poet and his book of poems Unhachya Kataviruddha has won multiple awards. He has also acted in The Silence, Fandry and Sairat. Here are a few excerpts from an interview with the film’s maker:
Love should be a simple, sweet thing. But in my India, love is the most difficult thing! Love runs scared and rarely happens, because it is actively and successfully prevented. What is the problem if people kiss or embrace (in public)? You can’t kiss on the road, but you can kill or piss or shit on the road, and that’s OK?
(Meenakshi Shedde is South Asia Consultant to the Berlin Film Festival, award-winning critic, curator to festivals worldwide and journalist. firstname.lastname@example.org)