Fish are a source of protein, a source of livelihood and, unfortunately, a source of big money too if you are a big business. And big business always has something to do with the environment, doesn't it?
The Documentary Circle of the Hyderabad Film Club, in association with Magic Lantern Foundation, Delhi, and ECOMOVE International, Germany, is organizing a 3-day mini-festival of films on the politics of environment, called Point Of View. The films will be screened at the Prasad's Preview Theatre everyday, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, between 16th and 18th February.
Environment is a political issue, whether we like it or not. Today's conflicts are more about the control of natural resources than anything else. We see these conflicts in our day-to-day life, whether it is for control of land and water, or a question of who pollutes and who pays, they are all about people's problems, and thus influence the politics of our day. It is happening around us, but we do not realize it. And when there is a realization, there is a lack of perspective. The perspective doesn't happen because, more often than not, environmental film festivals talk about non-controversial issues.
Point Of View is a sincere effort to look beyond the obvious, to give a platform for the alternative voices and untold stories. Most of these films have enjoyed wide viewership and appreciation elsewhere in India and abroad. The films straddle a wide spectrum of subjects, from India becoming a dump yard for the wastes created by European consumerism to the effects of depleted Uranium on American soldiers; from fishermen's woes in Tamil Nadu to a lone woman's fight against a toxic dump in South Africa; from the World Bank's environmental politics to locals' anger against tourism in Goa, from the horror stories of genetic engineering in Canada to the scams behind flood control in Bihar.
Today, the first day, Restless Shores, an Indian documentary about fisherfolk's livelihoods affected by prawn exports, will be screened. For the local community in Overi on the southeastern coast of India, their small scale fishing livelihoods are under threat. As the Government of India encourages the export of fish and prawn, large scale commercial trawler boats are encroaching and destroying local community fishing grounds along the coast. The consequences are a rapid decline in local harvests and in fish species' diversity.
Moreover, with rising fish prices, a crucial source of protein is becoming unaffordable for many rural communities. The local people of Overi narrate their story through Restless Shores - the changes and challenges they are facing from the export-oriented commercial fishing boats as they struggle to maintain control over local fishing grounds, their fishing livelihoods and their economic security.
The screenings are free for all. For further details, please contact Bh S S Prakash Reddy of the Hyderabad Film Club at 2373-0841/93910-20243.