• Children of the Pyre

    2008. India. Rajesh S. Jala. 74 min.

  • A Mango Tree in the Front Yard

    2009. France/India. Pradeepan Raveendran. 11 min.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 4:00 p.m.


  • Children of the Pyre

    2008. India. Directed by Rajesh S. Jala. A harrowing, graphic, and truly unforgettable portrait of seven “untouchable” boys who work in near-slavery conditions at the largest open-air crematorium in Varanasi, the ancient and sacred northeast Indian city on the banks of the mighty Ganges. The boys stoke the fires that keep the funeral pyres eternally burning, and retrieve the limbs that have gone astray. They are often beaten as they try to scrounge for brightly colored burial shrouds to resell. Their lives are made bearable by marijuana and gallows humor. Nearly two years in the making, this verité-style documentary has won top prizes at the Sao Paolo and Montreal film festivals; director Jala has dedicated it to the “millions of ill-fated children who never get an opportunity to have a normal childhood.” New York premiere. In Hindi; English subtitles. 74 min.

  • A Mango Tree in the Front Yard

    2009. France/India. Written and directed by Pradeepan Raveendran. Set in war-ravaged Sri Lanka and filmed in southeast India, Raveendran’s spare and haunting fiction short centers on a group of Tamil schoolchildren for whom violence is an everyday reality. Presented at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival. In Tamil; English subtitles. 11 min.

In the Film exhibition The New India

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