Guess who helps in cremating you when you die? The politically correct answer is, other human beings. If you don't agree, then it's your karma getting back at the crematorium.
The Documentary Circle of the Hyderabad Film Club, with support from the Sarojini Naidu School Of Performing Arts (University Of Hyderabad), Bakelite Hylam Limited, M V Foundation and Creative Media Worx, is screening 3 documentaries by R P Amudhan, on 27th January, at Prasad Labs Preview Theatre, as part of its monthly documentary films program. Note From The Crematorium is being screened today.
The film is a Tamil documentary with English subtitles. The original title of the film is Mayanakurippugal. It is about a central crematorium in Madurai city, where dalits (the untouchables or the harijans or people from the scheduled castes) are involved in a traditional occupation that includes carrying dead bodies, burying or burning them, and finally accepting whatever is paid by the relatives of the deceased ones.
The film is a journey into the crematorium to capture the various rituals carried out by the dalits for their fellow citizens who otherwise would not have touched them. But it is mandatory to have knowledge and skill to become a successful undertaker. It's ironic that death comes alive to bring people together. An old Tamil movie song is used in the film to provoke certain existential questions about life and death.
Ramalingam Pushpam Amudhan was born in 1971, and after completing MA in Development Communication from Madurai Kamaraj University, he got associated with Marupakkam (meaning the other side in Tamil), a media activist group involved in making documentaries, organizing regular screenings, video festivals and video workshops in and around Madurai.
Marupakkam recently organised the 8th Madurai Documentary and Short Film Festival 2006 in Madurai. He has directed and produced various documentaries like Leelavathy (1997), Theeviravadhigal (1998), Thodarum Thisaivali (2001), Kaviri Padugai (2002), Shit (2003), Notes From The Crematorium (2005), and Seruppu (2007).
The entry to the screenings is free. Please contact Bh S S Prakash Reddy of the Hyderabad Film Club at 2373-0841/93910-20243 for further details.