India 2018 | Fiction | 84 mins. | Hindi/Marathi with English Subtitles
4/28/2019 | 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
This feature will be preceded by a short film - TOKRI
Some language used in the film may not be suitable for children - parental discretion advised. Please watch the trailer.
A chauffeur, NAMDEV BHAU (65), is so flustered by constant noise around him, that he has completely stopped speaking. To get away from all the noise he decides to undertake a journey to the “Silent Valley”. Namdev travels by train to a mountain town only to find that it’s noisier than the city. At the closest bus stop, he encounters a young hyper boy, Aaliq. Aaliq tries to explain that he needs to reach ‘Red Castle’ and they must travel together as he is on a secret mission. When they finally reach Silent Valley. The ‘valley’ is filled with disorderly students on a field trip. Namdev is disappointed and tears the newspaper article. Aaliq proposes they go to Red Castle. Namdev reluctantly agrees. Next morning, Namdev goes to the local café for breakfast while Aaliq sleeps. He overhears a television news-report about a couple who was killed by their relatives for eloping. It also mentions that their 12-year-old son is missing. Namdev gets a hunch that they are speaking of Aaliq and rushes back. After a brief conversation, Namdev understands the boy’s naivety for believing that his parents will meet him at the Red Castle as per instructions. Namdev decides to take him to the Red Castle and see what ensues. They reach the Red Castle. Aaliq rushes ahead for delivering the scroll to the King in Red Robe. Aaliq kneels before a Buddhist Monk and gives him the scroll. After reading, the Monk glances at Namdev, who nods to affirm. The Monk escorts Aaliq inside. Namdev leaves from the castle and stops for tea. Fireworks go off nearby and a big procession passes him by. As people dance wildly around him, a smile appears on Namdev’s face. Amidst the noise and chaos, Namdev smiles unabashedly, and begins dancing.
Daria was first cast as lead actress in a play when she was 10 years old, since then she has acted and directed multiple theatre productions in Kiev, working with the best producers and critically acclaimed directors in Ukraine. After obtaining a Bachelors and Master’s degree in Philosophy with a minor in Film & Theatre from Kiev, Daria moved to India to teach screenwriting at ‘Whistling Woods International’ (India’s premier private film school). While exploring India, she came across many underlying societal idiosyncrasies which were fascinating when looked at from an objective point of view. Her first narrative feature called ‘Teen Aur Aadha’ was co-produced and presented by noted Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, follows the story of one house which 50 years ago was a school, 20 years later turns into a brothel and in present day it plays home to a 75-year-old couple. Interestingly the entire film was filmed in three long shots. It has been selected in over 35 International Festivals winning 12 awards in the process. Dar’s second film “Namdev Bhau” is premiering at the Busan International Film Festival, and will have its UK Premier at BFI’s London Film Festival.
The infrastructure of Mumbai has been built to hold about 5 million inhabitants. As of 2018, there are about 23 million inhabitants. As one can imagine, the human and non-human creatures of this city live in absolute chaos. Sound decibel levels in Mumbai are much higher than the UN “safety margin”, with the average sound level being about 64 times higher than that of London or New York.
The importance of silence is grossly disregarded in city life. We’ve become immune to the ceaseless honking, eternal drilling/thumping from construction sites, endless rattling of trains and the obstreperous cries of vendors. Sometimes it gets so noisy that it’s difficult to hear one’s own thoughts. This is the predicament plaguing our protagonist.
Namdev Bhau’s life journey toward self-discovery is shrouded by unimaginable and unforgiving probabilities of circumstance. Through a more physical escapade, he sets off trying to find an elusive ‘Silent Valley’ which promises myths of a ‘zero noise’ experience. On the way he chances upon a cheerful 12-year-old boy who is unknowingly escaping a gruesome violence committed onto his parents. This becomes an important underlying theme of the film. His parents had been brutally murdered by their relatives for having married outside their caste. Inter-caste marriage related murders are commonplace in India and have been on the rise in the last few years. The idea of which perfectly juxtaposes the digital and technological revolution of the country to the inane and barbaric rituals of ancient cultures.
The narrative then prioritizing the “coming-of-age” for the orphaned 12-year-old boy as well as the disgruntled 65-year-old man, as both of them reach a pivotal stage in their journey towards self-discovery and will then be more capable of deconstructing the illusions which societal structures have manufactured.
PRINCIPAL CREW AND CAST MEMBERS
Producer/s: Dheer Momaya
Story and Script/Screenplay: Dar Gai
Director of Photography: Aditya Varma
Editor: Shounok Ghosh
Music: Andrea Guerra
Cast: Namdev Gurav, Aarya Dave, Zoya Hussain
Sound Design: Rakshit Thantry
Production Design: Dar Gai
Busan International Film Festival (World Premier)
BFI's London International Film Festival (UK Premier)