23 Nov 2008
Filmmaker Sanjay Kak will be present to answer questions at the screening.
December 1, 2008
MIT Room 32-124
Synopsis: Words on Water
For more than 15 years people of the valley have resisted a series of massive dams on their river, and in their struggle have exposed the deceptive heart of India’s development politics.The struggle has forged unusual alliances. Adivasis in the hills, farmers from the Nimad plain, sand-quarriers and fishermen on the river, and middle-class activists. They are ranged against the powerful apparatus of this chosen model of development – Ministers, Magistrates, Police Commissioners, the World Bank, and in this era of privatization, multinational corporations. This is a dialogue with authority that is usually conducted across barricades. But through the tumult and slogans, we make our way to the transactions between power and powerlessness, between truth and untruth.
About the filmmaker
Sanjay Kak is an independent documentary filmmaker whose recent work reflects his interests in ecology, alternatives and resistance politics. His films Words on Water (about the struggle against large dams in the Narmada valley in central India), and In the forest hangs a bridge (about the Adi tribe in Arunachal, north-east India, gathering to build a 1000 ft long bridge of cane and bamboo), have been widely screened both in India and abroad. His work also includes One Weapon (1997), a video about Democracy in the 50th year of Indian independence, and Harvest of Rain (1995), made in association with the Centre for Science & Environment, New Delhi. As Producer and Director he has also made twinned films on the theme of migration, This Land, My Land, Eng-Land! (1993) looking at people of Indian origin in the fringes of the city of London and A House and a Home (1993) in post-apartheid South Africa. He has also made Cambodia: Angkor Remembered (1990), a reflection on the monument and its place in Khmer society.
The South Asia Forum at MIT
The Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia