THE land nurtures and the land deprives, the land offers and the land takes — the land shouldn’t be solely a demarcating line that divides folks into two courses in Punjab, however at instances, additionally it is a battlefield the place landowners oppress the landless and the place the landless battle to interrupt themselves free from the clutches of this oppression. “Till now, all efforts have been made to put forward the story and version of the dominant class. With Landless, we have tried to put forward the views of the landless,” says Randeep Maddoke, sharing the thought behind his first documentary movie, which was not too long ago screened at the Kolkata People’s Film Festival. It has additionally travelled to the Udaipur Film Festival and Gorakhpur Film Festival.
An activist with the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, the award-winning photographer and trainer belongs to the similar group of landless Dalit labourers that the movie offers a voice and face to. The movie is an end result of a nonetheless images mission on landless labourers that Maddoke started in 2005, after the case of Bant Singh, a Dalit agrarian labourer and activist in Jhabar village, who was reportedly overwhelmed up by higher caste Jat males for combating for justice for his minor daughter who was gangraped. Bant misplaced his arms and a leg on this assault. Maddoke was then a pupil at Government College of Art in Chandigarh and took care of Bant when he was admitted in PGI. The incident triggered the images mission. Maddoke travelled to quite a few villages throughout Punjab, documenting the life and struggles of landless Dalit labourers. “Apart from photographs, I began video recording our conversations about their trials and tribulations, as I felt it was very important. Many of my friends felt that the project must be transformed into a film, and I agreed, as not many films and documentaries have put forward their side of the story. Also, film is a more democratic medium, as it can reach wider audiences and rural areas, while photography has its limitations — it is restricted to galleries and an elite audience. It took me more than five years to get the footage and finally make Landless,” shares Chandigarh-based Maddoke, who’s at the moment on a educating task in Jalandhar.
Studying the works of nice filmmakers and studying and researching the numerous types of documentary movies, Maddoke has been capable of inform advanced and true tales in a visible language that steers away from the news-capsule format, with lengthy takes, metaphors, music and sounds giving the pictures a brand new which means and including many layers to the movie. The filmmaker says it was a deliberate choice to not have fast digicam actions. “You are not on a war field, there has to be a certain stillness, silence and sensitivity to capture the anguish of someone who is dying inside,” says Maddoke.
In this deep and intrinsic relationship between caste and land, the oppression of landless Dalit labourers by dominant caste farmers, ladies are sometimes the greatest victims, says Maddoke. He goes deep into the agrarian disaster to file tales from Mansa, Sangrur, Bhatinda, Muktsar and Patiala to doc the oppression the landless face as they rely on the land of others, and dwell in abject poverty, with no scope for protest. In the movie, he discusses points corresponding to farmer suicides, laborious labour, social boycott, contract labour and the function of politicians and moneylenders. “The women are easy targets and these are people on the margin, no one talks about them. I am not an outsider, I am one of them, as I was born here. I have worked as an agricultural labourer to earn money, so I know the difficulties, the harshness of their life, the helplessness of the women, the lack of basic amenities, humiliation and indignity they face. I am no different from the people in the film. As an artiste, it is my responsibility to talk of people who are not in the mainstream and of real issues, which I hope Landless does.”
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