Provided a fitting finale to the Film Harvest Festival 2012 held at UB city was the Marathi movie ‘India is my country’. A unique take on corruption in the life of a common man in India, the film was set against the backdrop of the recent Anna Hazare campaign.
It goes beyond the commonplace definition of corruption as the give and take of monetary bribes. It explores the decay of moral values, both in the workplace and in relationships, through the story of a middle class Marathi family struggling to make their way in the world.
The plight of the youngest son, defeated at the prospect of being unable to secure a place in an engineering college despite having scored a whopping 90 per cent, moves his family to enquire about agents who could procure a seat for payment.
After all as a friend remarks ‘these are the laws of the society and essential for survival’. In an effort to raise money to pay for the capitation, the mother approaches ‘Tai’, their niece, who had previously bought a room from them, albeit without proper documents, and whose value has appreciated much over the years, to give back the property.
How the remarkable woman deals with this moral dilemma and the eventual triumph of moral values over materialistic corrupting forces forms the rest of the story.
The concept of taking up the typical day of each of the characters one by one makes for a wonderful narrative which is further accentuated by strong secondary characters.
This movie was the brainchild of Sumitra Bhave, winner of six national awards, and she was assisted by Sunil Sukthankar in this endeavour.
Speaking to the audience, they revealed that the movie was made on zero budget with no money being spent on the artefacts and the actors not accepting payment.
The entire project took no more than two months to complete. A remarkable feat indeed which has found due recognition as it emerged victorious at the Pune International Film Festival.