I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

An Insignificant Man - Review

Tonight after a weeks of slogging, I made some time off to watch a documentary I’d been meaning to watch since I first saw the trailer. The film ‘An Insignificant Man’ has been released on ‘Vice’ – a film directed by two young independent film makers – Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla. The film was largely crowdfunded, and was shot during the period of 2012 - 2015. The film covers the establishment of the AAP right until its massive victory in the 2014 Delhi Elections. 

The thing I liked the most about the film is how neutral it is in its political stand, how it focuses on Kejriwal’s journey, and provokes discussion on idealism VS politics. In India we are always surrounded by politics, but one doesn’t get to see it first hand in its entirety and truth. It is always seen through the lens of the media – which comes from mostly unreliable and biased sources. It was amazing to be able to see it presented as what it was. During the course of the film I learnt the many issues that an amateur honest party would face. 

I would often hear my parents discuss the AAP. They would talk about how they don’t have any political experience, and how they were like an unrealistic NGO. Many times during the course of the film, I realised what they were talking about. AAP neither had the money to campaign, nor the experience. They didn’t think through how the country would be run if they won the election. They didn’t even have a solid agenda. All they had was a sincere drive to do good. It was really inspiring to see how this worked out in their favour. 

Another question that came to mind whilst watching the film was the very concept of democracy. The party’s inability to follow internal democracy made me question the concept of democracy itself. Back in college during the Ganesh festival, the majority of students would celebrate with 11 days of loud drums and persistent noisy celebration. According to them, the feeling of community and devotion preceded the few students who chose to work in peace during those 11 days. We were amongst those few students, and in this case, democracy had worked against us.

In India, where the masses are uneducated, struggling for basic needs like water, electricity and food, everything else would secondary. What kind of sound decisions would you trust this majority to make? Be it on wastage, energy, animal cruelty, gender equality or global warming? Yes, that’s why we developed a system wherein we could vote for leaders who would be in a better position to make those decisions for us. But even that system has failed us with the corruption of power and lack of a worthy candidate to represent the people.

I love how the film strikes conversation, especially considering how polarized we have become in our opinion of modern day Indian politics. We have become bitter and resentful, with an ounce of hope left.

I applaud Khushboo and Vinay for their efforts, their perspective and resilience in getting the film out. And I was so glad to hear that they received full support from international film associations like the International Documentary Film Association and Sundance. Hats off to them, and the people who generously crowd funded this story. I hope that with this film’s success, there is lots more to come from India. You can watch the documentary HERE and a conversation with the directors HERE.

You won’t regret it.

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