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Lalit Rao

Mr. Lalit Rao is a film critic from Jaipur, India, FIPRESCI India member. He is currently writing a book on 25 best French films (1990-2015). Apart from ''World Cinema'', he is interested in chess, foreign languages, linguistics and philosophy. Mr. Lalit Rao is advisory board (World Cinema) member of RIFF [Rajasthan International Film Festival]. He is also the associate editor of the quarterly magazine "Cinematography Art". Mr. Lalit Rao has reported extensively on film festivals especially 'World Cinema' through more than 40 blogs and 8 videos channels. Cinema journal ‘Deep Focus’, and ‘Bangalore Film Society’ were represented by him as their correspondent in Paris for 2005-2006. He also presented a paper on Canadian cinema entitled ‘A brief overview of Francophone cinema in Québec’ during 20th International Conference on Canadian Studies, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, 27-29 February, 2004. Apart from writing 1000 reviews on IMDB, Mr. Lalit Rao has created KINEMA, a database with information on 25,000 films. His articles in French and English have appeared in Deep Focus, Kinoglaz, Objectif-Cinema, Sancho Does Asia and Séquences. Mr.Lalit Rao studied Master 2 at Université de Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris where he worked on ‘Distribution of Indian cinema’ in France. As a film critic, Mr. Lalit Rao has attended numerous film festivals in France and India.



Documentary Film Review-“When the Sun didn’t rise” directed by Teena Kaur Pasricha.

In recent times, if one were to discuss key events related to politics and society in India, most people are likely to evoke the assassination of Indian prime minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards and subsequent violence perpetrated against Sikh community in Indian subcontinent. It was a grim chapter of post independence Indian history when old friends turned into mortal foes. These two tragic events form the backdrop of a new Indian documentary film “When the sun didn’t rise”. This film is based on director Teena Kaur Pasricha’s personal experiences when as a child she saw how the tragic events of 1984 distressed countless Silk families especially women who witnessed brutal massacre of their men at the hands of frenzied mobs. According to estimates, more than 3000 people were killed in New Delhi during four days of violence when the state machinery failed to protect innocent people. It is the result of her anger towards marauders of holding an entire community responsible for an act of violence committed by two people.

In her film “When the sun didn’t rise”, director Teena Kaur Pasricha aims to throw light on 1984 tragedy albeit through a feminine perspective from women who continue to suffer. She conveys the key message that justice is still denied to Sikh community even after 33 years of senseless violence. Made over a period of 5 years, “When the sun didn’t rise” brings viewers closer to the sufferings of strong women who continue to fight for justice. A high degree of authenticity is maintained by Ms. Pasricha with the inclusion of detailed interviews with victims, politicians and lawyers. Much of the film’s action takes place in “Widow’s Colony”, New Delhi where we get to know more about the lives of two brave ladies who lost their husbands. It is in this locality that the issue of tragedy of 1984 has not completely faded from public memory as annual memorial celebrations are held, young children take blessings from martyrs’ photos and political parties pay visits in order to garner sympathy from Sikh community.

About the tragedy of 1984 it can be said that hitherto a couple of feature films namely Amu directed by Sonali Bose have been made. However, “When the sun didn’t rise” is unique as it is a rare documentary film about 1984 tragedy wherein the story has been told from the perspective of people who were actual victims of the tragedy. Lastly, it can be surmised that the documentary film “When the sun didn’t rise” is intended primarily for viewers from Sikh community. However, this film’s quest for justice would surely involve people from all beliefs, faiths and ideologies who are interested in learning more about the fight of ordinary citizens in their quest for justice which continues to be denied for a long time.

 © Mr.Lalit Rao (FIPRESCI)


Teena1.jpg81 KB


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About Lalit Rao

RAO Lalit

Mr. Lalit Rao (member-FIPRESCI) writes for this website on a regular basis as a film critic publishing reviews on his profile

In February 2017, he participated as jury member during  9th Bangalore International Film Festival 2017.

In 2014, he attended 19th International Film Festival of Kerala 2014 as a member of film critics’ jury.

As a film critic, Mr.Lalit Rao has attended film festivals in India as well as France namely International Film Festival of India (IFFI), International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), Festival International de Films de Femmes de Créteil, Paris : Cinéma du Réel-Festival International de films documentaires, Est-ce ainsi que les hommes vivent? Saint-Denis, Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma de Patrimoine, Vincennes & Festival International des Cinémas d'Asie, Vesoul. 


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