If only Girish Kasaravalli was a Bengali auteur

He doesn’t crow about his feats, appear on magazine covers, or give loud interviews. Why, even in the 21st century, he has the utter indecency to make films with a total budget of Rs 35 lakh (Aamir Khan‘s Lagaan had a marketing budget of Rs 1 crore; Rajnikanth‘s Robot cost over Rs 100 crore).

Yet, staggeringly, the Kannada film maker Girish Kasavaralli has quietly accumulated six national awards for his portrayal of the social landscape, winning  a Swarna Kamal in each of the last four decades—for Tabarana Kathe (1986), Thaayi Saheba (1997), Dweepa (2001), Kurmavatara (2012).

The 61-year-old auteur in an Q&A in The Hindu:

What according to you is a political film?

Political films are not necessarily those that are made about politics, but anything that subverts our perception. No one can make a politically free statement, which is naive or contradictory in nature. The movie “Bairi” is a classic example where institutionalisation of religion is portrayed. What forms our perception by viewing it makes it a political or a non-political film.

Photograph: courtesy The Tribune

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