Yes, it is indeed about shit.
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. Shit is being screened today.
Originally title Pee, the film is about Mariyammal, a dalit (untouchable or harijan), a worker with the Madurai Municipal Corporation in Madurai. She is involved in the manual scavenging activity - which still prevails in India - and is on the payroll of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
The film shot while she was at work, shows the extent of humiliation she goes through everyday for 25 years. She sweeps, collects and carries the night soil in a street adjacent to a Hindu temple, with the help of a broom, a vessel and some ash, every morning without fail.
The film uses a lot of symbols to bring out the discrimination she experiences while others lead a life with dignity around her. The film has no voiceover per se. It has no music. It also does not have an activist or an expert but only Mariyammal and her work.
The film shared the Best Film award at the Tirupur Video Festival in 2004 and the Sivagangai Video Competition at New Delhi, in 2004. It also won the Best Film award at One Billion Eyes - Indian Documentary Festival at Chennai in 2005, and at the Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival 2005, and also the National Jury Award at the Mumbai International Film Festival 2006 and the Best Documentary Film award at the VIBGYOR Documentary And Short Film Festival 2006.
Ramalingam Pushpam Amudhan was born in 1971, and after completing an M A 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.