THRISSUR: For the first time in the history of Kerala Assembly, a documentary portraying the suffering of captive elephants, especially during the Thrissur Pooram, will be screened at the Banquet Hall of the Members Lounge in the Legislature Complex on Wednesday in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, ministers, MLAs and other dignitaries.
The multiple award-winning and United Nations nominated documentary - ‘Gods in Shackles’ - is filmed by Sangita Iyer, a wildlife journalist and documentary film maker. Sangita, who is settled in Canada and hails from Alathur, Palakkad, has so far produced 20 documentaries on nature and wildlife. Sangita, executive producer and director of the film, said: “This is my first feature documentary. The 90-minute-long movie, nominated by the International Elephant Film Festival at the UN General Assembly and won seven international film festival awards, sheds lights on the dark underbelly of the festival industry in Kerala which mistreats and exploits the elephants.”
“Thousands of festivals, including the Thrissur Pooram, which has been billed as one of the most spectacular festivals on the planet, attract millions from various parts of the globe. But it’s time to look beyond the spectacle and seek answer to a fundamental question. Should elephants ever be held captive?,” Sangita said. “The movie can be used as an education tool to sensitise people and policy makers,” said Sangita. She said the state has already earned notoriety for the ill treatment of elephants in foreign countries and it would soon affect the tourist inflow if not checked.
Moved by the movie, Speaker Sriramakrishnan gave Sangita the nod to screen the movie in the Assembly.
Sangita plans to screen the movie for the public in T'Puram on July 6, Thrissur (July 2) and Kozhikode (July 3).