THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Indian premiere of ‘Grain’ by Semih Kaplanoglu held at IFFK 2017 has set high standards in the International competition category on Saturday.
The film not only enchanted the viewers but also gave an opportunity to the serious cine goers to have a glimpse on how artistes respond to the ongoing human migration across the continents.The contemplative sci-fi drama is set in an apocalyptic future in which drought, starvation, refugee crisis, genetic modification of crops and human arrogance have ravaged the planet.
The story has the setting of an impending tragedy in which Mother Earth goes uninhabitable with the seeds losing its capability to germinate. Professor Erol Erin, a geneticist, lives in a city insulated from multi-ethnic immigrants by magnetic walls. For unknown reasons, the city’s agricultural plantations get hit by a genetic crisis.
The meeting at the headquarters of his corporation which employs Erol comes to know about Cemil Akman, a fellow geneticist who had researched on the recurring crisis affecting genetically modified seeds.
The film is about Erol’s journey in search of Cemil. According to the director, Semih Kaplanoglu who shot the film in Turkey, Germany, France and Sweden said his film not only reflects the present but also the future awaiting mankind.
“One of the things I realised during my journeys to different continents is that there is absolutely no difference between the people who live in those countries we traditionally believe to be the most developed, and those from the poorest and most ‘undeveloped,’ he says.
Man is, and has always been the same- the same as in the past, as he is now, and will be the same in future. “Possessing more knowledge, more technological advances, or the ability to lead more comfortable lives do not make us more of a person. Arrogance, egotism and ambition are all the same, everywhere and in each era,” he stresses in his film.
He said crises like drought, hunger, wars, refugees and genetic modifications continue to befall on human beings across the continents. One has to fix the onslaughts that are happening within us to fix the problems around us, he said.
‘Grain’ thus represents his attempt to convey that interconnection.Asked why he shot the film in 35 mm and in black and white while a digital revolution is taking place, he said all his four previous films were in 35 mm.
He said he wanted to use the technology of all time-from the past to the present- in creating the film. “Different colours, light, different locations, costumes and even different seasons were used during the making of the film,” he said.
Creative freedom should not be compromised: Aparna Sen
T’Puram: Creative freedom should not be subjected to any sort of compromise, said noted film maker, screenwriter and actress Aparna Sen. She was speaking at an open forum held at Tagore Theatre here on Saturday on the sidelines of the International Film Festival of Kerala. What is needed in a democracy is the freedom to resist and not the power to curtail.
This view is not confined to cinema alone. It is borne out of the anxiety that all sorts of freedom are being robbed of citizens, Sen noted. Shashi Tharoor MP, who took part in the open forum, said it was the right of an artist to decide what should be said in a work of art. Referring to the restrictions imposed on the film ‘S Durga’, Tharoor said a film cannot be annihilated by altering its title.