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The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 10 to 17, 2022 under the motto "It all (re)starts here".
Our team of festival ambassadors and reporters brings you the dailies from the Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market and keep an eye on past editions archives. WATCH OUR VIDEO COVERAGE TRAILERS INTERVIEWS AND AMBIANCE   PHOTOS

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The Other Indian Cinema in Berlin


While Bollywood is among the most recognizable cinema genres in the world (and rivals Hollywood in its prolific popularity), there is another Indian cinema, of a more independent stripe, that is emerging. The Berlinale is focusing on these groundbreaking films that tackle serious and poetic subjects, with nary a dancing girl in sight.

One of the films generating the most excitement and interest is THE MAN BEYOND THE BRIDGE, a bittersweet dramatic film that has already captured the FIRESCI Critics Award at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. The film, directed by Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, is screening this week in the Forum section of the Berlinale.

The film centers on Vinayak, a forest guard, who leads a lonely life in a government house in the dense forest on the Goa-Karnataka border. His only interaction in the forst is with the laborers who come to work on the teak plantations. Once they leave, he is left alone in the remote location, with memories of his dead wife and his earlier life.

One night, he comes across a woman lying in the compound outside his house. He drives her away but she keeps returning, like an errant ghost. His initial annoyance turns into curiosity and eventually compassion, as he recognizes another human soul in torment and in need of human comfort. Eventually, he invites her into his home and opens up his heart to her. He attempts to cure her mental illness and psychological distress, but comes up against the superstitions of the small village where he abides.

When she becomes pregnant, the community becomes especially irate and hostile, threatening both the woman and her protector. Director Shetgaonkar builds up the tension between a society that refuses to help those that are different and one man's attempt to reach out to another human being to not only help her but to end his own loneliness.

The film has screened to great acclaim at such international film events as the Cairo International Film Festival, the Asian Film Festival Hong Kong, the Mumbai International Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival and will screen in the upcoming months at the Istanbul International Film Festival and the Indian Film Festival Los Angeles. The film is represented by the National Film Development Corporation, the government-run body designed to promote Indian cinema internationally. More information on this and other films represented by the NFDC can be researched on their website:

THE MAN BEYOND THE BRIDGE demonstrates, along with several other Indian titles in this year's Berlinale, that Indian cinema is not just about snazzy dancing and upbeat musical numbers. The "other Indian cinema" is a compelling mix of native Indian culture with influences from Europe, Asia and abroad, and is a cinema culture well worth discovering and savouring.

Sandy Mandelberger, Berlinale Dailies Editor

Comments (1)

Rubbish Film. This gives

Rubbish Film. This gives Indian independent cinema a bad name with it's tacky production, weak acting and faux "realist" storyline. After all, it's produced by the government of India. There is far more interesting stuff around.

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Chatelin Bruno

Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
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