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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



IFFI 52, 011: Japan’s Ring Wandering bags Golden Peacock, Czech Director Václav Kadrnka gets Silver as Best Director, for Saving


IFFI 52, 011: Japan’s Ring Wandering bags Golden Peacock, Czech Director Václav Kadrnka gets Silver as Best Director, for Saving One Who is Dead

A fantasy, or a reincarnation tale, look at it any which way, Ring Wandering is beautifully crafted. A day labourer and aspiring manga artist in search of bones, which he believes will help him complete his piece of art, ends up unearthing forgotten war-time memories buried deep under the collective consciousness of the nation and its shared history. It is Japanese director Masakazu Kaneko’s ode to the thousands of souls whose bodies as well as memories were enshrouded in a forgotten past. This heart-rending truth is symbolically depicted, perhaps taking some liberties by bringing in the super-natural. It was one the best films I saw at IFFI 52, and the fact that it bagged the Golden Peacock gladdened my heart.

Titled Ringu Wanderingu in Japanese, this 2021 film was described by the International Competition Jury as “…a beautifully photographed combination of fantasy and manga-inspired reality, reflecting a fascination with the echoes of the past reverberating in present-day Japanese society. The jury notes that the narration of the complex, multi-dimensional and tormentous trauma of the nation has been very subtly handled by both the direction and the performances, making the film a delightfully rewarding experience.

Though seeking to bring war-time memories to life, the film is not a war film; rather, it is centred on human relationships and exhorts us to think beyond the limits of what is readily comprehensible to us.”