Director: Tarun Jain
Duration: 20 mins
Away from the modern landscape that most of us know now, ‘Amma Meri’ is a gripping tale of survival, social relevance, and a moral dilemma. Directed by Tarun Jain, Amma Meri is a visually haunting film that will make you anticipate a jump scare in its every move.
The movie opens with a scene of death which is the perfect precursor to what the film can only be described as, a tragedy. The film revolves around a poor milkman, Balram, who has become the head of the family after the death of his father. Balram needs to take care of his half-blind elderly mother while on the other hand, he needs to find a suitable groom for his daughter who is twenty-five, a ripe and almost post suitable time for women to be married in many parts of this country. In his bid to marry off his daughter, he is advised by an agent to take money from his mother’s fixed deposit to pay for the dowry and marriage, which could only come after the death of his mother. In a situation of adverse circumstance, Balram is torn between the idea of marrying off his daughter and that it may need to come at the price of the life of his mother.
The film brilliantly uses the atmosphere and the environment it is set in to create a sense of suspense, fear, and helplessness in every second of it. The film is realistic and shows the true colors of the Indian agrarian society, literally and figuratively. The horrors of an oppressive patriarchal system that has been a reality for many families across the country since time immemorial is what drives the perplexity of Balram and the choice that he has to make. Tarun Jain’s portrayal of this film is an act of social commentary on the rural Indian society. The struggles of Balram to manage his family while securing the life of his daughter is a medium for us to experience the helplessness that goes through many in coping and meeting with the unfair and oppressive societal expectations. The film uses little dialogue but the silences used are enough to fill into the language of the film.
The film opened at the Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala with a very lively response and has not looked back since. It was screened at many prestigious festivals worldwide and domestically including the IIFF and the Tampere Film Festival. The film has travelled successfully over 10 countries winning more than 12 awards in that process.
Amma Meri was one of the many such great films that were screened at Cineville in its 2020 edition and was received with great response and love from the audience. Cineville - The Annual Film Festival organized by Filmtantra, The Film Appreciation and Filmmaking Society of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, celebrates independent films and filmmakers. Many more such great films like this one have been a part of Cineville over the years and this year is not going to be an exception.
Come be a part of CAFF 2021 and experience independent cinema like you have never before!
By Debajit Sarkar