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Ronita Torcato

A little chit, a little chat, a little bit of this & that;meaning news, views & lotsa reviews from an independent journo based in Bombay aka Mumbai



  India's first creature film,‘Kaalo-The desert witch’ is slated for release on December 17, 2010
 Based on a folktale,this supernatural thriller was shot at the peak of summer in the deserts of Jaisalmer.

Kaalo was a witch who lived in Kulbhata village in the 18th century.  Accused of sacrificing young  girls to satisfy her desire for immortality, she was killed and buried by the angry villagers. Years later, villagers would speak  of Kaalo’s sightings and claim she was even more angry and dangerous. Kulbhata became a ghost town, vacated overnight by petrified villagers, who also sealed the roads leading to Kulbhata following gory  tales of Kaalo killing anyone who dared to enter Kulbhata.
Until a bus bound for the neighbouring village of  Kuldevi with eleven passengers had to pass through Kulbhata.
Among the passengers were  12 year old Shona (played by Swini Khara of Cheeni Kum) who was going  to spend the summer vacation with her grandmother. Another commuter, a reclusive and reticent chap called Sameer, was travelling with a bagfull of gun powder to blast a  hillock for a water canal for his drought hit village.Sameer knew he had to protect Shona from the bloodthirsty Kaalo...

Produced by Yash Patnaik and Mamta Patnaik, Kaalo features Shwini Khara (as Shona), Aditya Shrivastav, Aditya Lakhiya, Paintal and others. Kaalo is written and directed by Wilson Louis whose last film, also in the horror genre, came a cropper.

Precise statistics are not known, but lynch mobs in India have killed and continue to murder large numbers of women whom they accused of witchcraft.A whopping 80 percent of those accused and convicted of witchcraft in early modern Europe were female. The Enlightenment, beginning in the late 1680s, hastened  the end of witch-hunts throughout Europe.
Few people are aware that witch-hunts still claim thousands of lives every year, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and in South Africa. In  Congo (formerly Zaire), some 14,000 children in the capital, Kinshasa, alone were accused of sorcery and expelled from their homes; "the unlucky ones are murdered by their own family members before they escape." (See Jeremy Vine, "Congo witch-hunt's child victims", BBC News, December 22, 1999. Also, see James Astill, 'Congo casts out its 'child witches', The Guardian (UK), 11 May 2003. )


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About Ronita Torcato

Torcato Agnela Ronita
An incomplete round-up of movie news, features & views from an independent journo & (dare I say it:-) film critic in Mumbai



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