The Crippled Frontier
A Trilogy of documentary films by Pankaj Butalia about the conflcts on the periphery of India.
60 min, 2009, India, English (subtitled)
Set in Manipur the film seeks to foreground a state that exists on the periphery of the Indian imagination. As with other North Eastern states, culturally and ethnically Manipur has remained estranged from the dominant Indian culture and has repeatedly sought to assert its identity through insurgency. In 1980-81 the Indian state countered by giving unprecedented powers to its army to deal with insurgency. The ‘Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)’, gives complete immunity to the army and led to killings and rapes. The situation got so bad that in August 2004 a group of women disrobed in front of the army barracks holding banners saying “Indian Army Rape Us”.
The film looks at the consequences of this violence on ordinary people.
The Textures of Loss
61 min, 2013, India, English (subtitled)
Two decades of violence in Kashmir has left the valley devastated. Every family silently nurses its deep wounds. Women have lost husbands, fathers, sons and brothers.
Children grow up in an environment of deep depression and young men do not see any future for themselves. "The Textures of Loss" is an elegy to the wounded Kashmir valley. The loss of loved ones manifests itself not only in pain, but also in anger, somatic symptoms, paralysis and deadness.
The film dwells on some of these responses.
Assam: an inner landscape
68 min, 2015, India, English (subtitled)
In Assam – an inner landscape the filmmaker sets out to explore the violence that Assam has witnessed in recent years.
We hear moving testimonies of poor people displaced from their homes and fields – victims of violence often mislabeled ‘ethnic.’ The perpetrators carry guns in one hand and the Indian Constitution in the other.
– Sanjib Baruah, Bard College
(These films are available in a 3-DVD set. The films are also available individually)