Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Men of Burden - Acclaimed Documentary Film on Cycle Rickshaws in Pondicherry, India

Back in 2005/2006, we made our first ever feature-length documentary film ‘Men of Burden – Pedaling Towards a Horizon’, about Cycle Rickshaw drivers in Pondicherry. It was during our rudimentary years as filmmakers...when we didn’t know a thing, of course, we still don't, but then it was more like, not even knowing the general aesthetics and techniques of filmmaking. We went by raw instinct, a deep socially bent instinct that certain things should be captured and made a story out of, because those stories(with certain issues) haven’t been told before. Our ‘style’ was more influenced by a gut-feeling arising out of society’s many foibles – issues that were conspicuously stark naked, yet completely invisible to all of us. So we thought filmmaking was a tool to bring those naked truths out, a power to change things in the world and thoughts like that. Well, a lot has changed since then. But ‘Men of Burden’ was and is, a film close to our hearts, because we didn’t set out to ‘make’ the film, it just organically happened. We took out our cameras and just started shooting the raw, roadside lives of the Cycle rickshaw men who lived in abject poverty, following them for weeks, before we could ascertain what exactly we were doing. In fact, it took us 9 months from start to finish, before it was ready.
‘Men of Burden’ was officially selected and had its World Premiere at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles at Arclight Hollywood theater, then at the Stuttgart Film Festival in Germany and the New York Indian Film Festival and some more. It was a film that opened our eyes to the many realities of our world. So, here’s one of our first works as filmmakers. Of course, we had done a couple of short films before but…here you go. Some of you may have seen it(on Internet Archive) but we just uploaded it on Youtube. Do watch/share it and let us know what you think about a little part of our work.
Directed by Raghu Jeganathan
Co-directed by Earthling Koushalya
Produced by Ramesh Mourthy, Accessible Horizon Films
Cinematography by Mohandass
Music by Steve Gorn
Link here also...

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