“The delusion of the constant erection is what keeps the patriarchal society going”

Posted on February 27, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/q-interview-garbage-baradwaj-rangan-berlinale/

A note on Q’s ‘Garbage’, which premiered at the Berlin film festival, and an interview with the filmmaker.

Q’s Garbage, the only Indian feature at this year’s Berlinale (it had its world premiere in the Panorama section), zooms in on subject matter worthy of the director’s provocative style. The film opens with this note: “Although the events are dangerously true, this is a work of fiction.” The protagonist, Phanishwar (Tanmay Dhanania), is a taxi driver in Goa, and a rabid fundamentalist who – true to his name, “the king of snakes” – spews venom on social media platforms. He is affiliated to the Hindu Rashtriya Sangh, and a surrealistic scene involving oral sex and a godman (Baba Satchitanand, played by Satchit Puranik) is both hilarious and a horrifying illustration of how religion has been reduced to sheeplike adherence to rituals. Before the screening, Q told the audience, “I hope you will all be shocked” – but I wasn’t prepared for this.

If Phanishwar is bound and restrained by his sacred thread, Nanaam (i.e. the one with no name, played by Satarupa Das ) has a dog collar around her neck, and is chained to a wall in Phanishwar’s house. Her implied anonymity is intentional. Who is she? Where is she from? How did she meet Phanishwar? These questions, I suppose, don’t matter. The man is Patriarchy. The woman is its nameless, mute slave. (Through the film, Nanaam doesn’t utter a word.) The symbolism is obvious, but it’s a terrific fit with the urgent themes, which are in-your-face too – they stare at you from the front pages of newspapers. Q said that Garbage is his most joyless film, but this is also his most angry film. His rage is directed at everything. Revenge porn. The Nirbhaya tragedy. Lynch mobs. Godmen. You name it. The film isn’t subtle, but it gets under your skin.

Continued at the link above.

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