Survival Stories, directed by Rahul Riji Nair, is on YouTube: A sense of the lockdown in eight different ways, with eight shorts

Posted on May 16, 2020


Every short features a character who is confined in a way. Some of them mention COVID. Others exist in a timeless space — their stories could have unfolded even before the lockdown.

Spoilers ahead…

What can you hope to see in a roughly 45-minute film that opens with the note that it was “fully conceived and produced during the national lockdown enforced in India due to COVID 19”? In the case of Rahul Riji Nair’s Survival Stories, the answer is eight shorts, looking at the lockdown in eight different ways. In the first one, titled Hook or Crook, a woman (Vinitha Koshy, who featured in this director’s first film, Ottamuri Velicham) wakes up at night hearing a strange sound. She seems all alone at home. Or is she? What appears to be a haunted-house story — “You shouldn’t have come here… No one who has come here has left…” — ends with a twist that made me smile.

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