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Anand Patwardhan's 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' Wins Award At NY Indian Film Festival

The film uses footage of Patwardhan's parents and family to narrate the story of a changing India.

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Indian Cinema
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Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan’s Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam/The World is Family has won the Best Documentary Award at the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF). The film uses footage of Patwardhan's parents and family that he shot over decades to narrate the story of a changing India.

The official blurb of the film reads, "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, a Sanskrit phrase meaning 'the world is family' is a universalist idea that competes with dominant, exclusivist Hindu notions of caste. Anand grew up in a milieu that questioned the latter. The family’s elders had fought for India’s Independence but rarely spoken about it. ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’, words enshrined in India’s Constitution, were subconsciously internalized. As his parents aged, Anand began to film with whatever equipment was at hand. Soon birthdays and family gatherings gave way to oral history."

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"Revisiting home movie footage a decade after his parents had passed, was a revelation. Today, self-confessed supremacists whose ideology once inspired the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, are in power. As they rewrite India’s history, memories of the past have become more precious than mere personal nostalgia," it adds.

In their review of the film Variety wrote, "Through his personal study of his family, Patwardhan endears us to the entwined history of Nirmala, Balu, Rau, Achyut, Gandhi and India as a whole. And as he reaches several inevitable crossroads, from personal grief to dismay over the country’s divisive direction, The World Is Family becomes a deeply affecting, immensely powerful cinematic lamentation of lost stories and details, and a desperate act of personal and political preservation before time runs out.”

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Topics:  Anand Patwardhan 

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