JAI BHIM COMRADE
(Anand Patwardhan, India, 2012, digital, 169 min)
In-person: filmmaker Anand Patwardhan
Please note the early start time: 6 PM
Described as “perhaps one of the most important documentaries to emerge out of the Indian subcontinent” by Bedatri Choudhury in Screen Slate, JAI BHIM COMRADE focuses on the brutality of India’s centuries-old caste system, and the struggle of Dalit activists to dismantle its oppressive structures. Motivated by the death of outspoken poet and musician Vilas Ghogre–who tragically committed suicide in protest against the police killing of fellow Dalit demonstrators in 1997—director Anand Patwardhan undertook a 14-year investigation, using his camera to document the testimonies and the cultural expressions of an oppressed-caste community all-too-rarely witnessed in films. JAI BHIM COMRADE mounts an incriminating case against the complacency of liberal assumptions of progress, while foreshadowing the rise of the far-right that yet to come.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Global Culture and Communication, the Race, Caste, and Colorism Working Group, and the MFA in Documentary Media at Northwestern
FREE & OPEN TO ALL
This is the first event in a two-part program with Patwardhan in person. Please join us on Saturday, October 29th at 11 AM for a screening of REASON (2018) followed by a Q&A.
About the series:
Anand Patwardhan: Reason in Revolt
For over four decades, documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan has been one of India’s foremost social critics and activists, unflinchingly capturing rebellion and repression alike. Whether examining the emerging crises of environmental devastation or the long-gestating cancer of India’s caste system, Patwardhan combines impassioned indignation with the sobriety and rigor of a seasoned investigator.
Block Cinema is thrilled to partner with the Center for Global Culture and Communication, the Race, Caste, and Colorism Working Group, and the MFA in Documentary Media at Northwestern University to present two of his most riveting, epic, and essential works. In Jai Bhim Comrade (2011), Patwardhan traces the struggle for Dalit (oppressed-caste) rights from the revolutionary efforts of caste abolitionist B. R. Ambedkar (1891-1956) to the present; with his most recent documentary, the monumental Reason (2018), Patwardhan captures the rise of violent Hindu nationalist sentiment to mount a scathing indictment of India’s far right. Patwardhan will appear in person for both screenings.