The Revolutionary Road

Sanjay Kak maps a long journey in his new film, Red Ant Dream.

This film is not a document, but about something unseen, the politics of resistance,'' says Sanjay Kak about his latest film — Red Ant Dream (Matti Ke Laal) — which evokes many emotions and questions. Screened in the city on Sunday evening by the Punjab Lok Sabhyacharak Manch as part of Ghadar Party's centenary celebrations, the documentary film brings the audience closer to "those who live the revolutionary ideal in India." Kak's film is a revolutionary link between different people's movements in India. The camera travels to various parts of the country — from Bastar where the Maoist movement is on to capturing the struggles of the adivasis in the Niyamgiri Hills and even the plains of Punjab where the thoughts of Bhagat Singh and the revolutionary poetry of Pash thrive. The film, which has diverse narratives, also looks at the state's role in silencing peaceful protests. Through poetry, imagery of nature, reflections of writers, poets and leaders, the filmmaker sheds light on internal threat and security concerns. It dives in to the poetry of Pash and the views of Bhagat Singh and how they continue to inspire generations and people's movements. The film has many layers and nuances that represent an alternative view.

Kak's earlier critically acclaimed documentaries are Words on Water on the anti-dam Narmada movement and Jashn-e-Azadi on the suffering and grit of the people of Kashmir. "The audience has the capacity to view the alternate and sometimes we have to transcend the facts to present something that provokes thought, makes one ask questions and also establish a relationship with the audience,'' says Kak.

The world of documentary films, adds Kak, is different. "We are in the business of ideas, and there is a lot beyond the mainstream. I don't venture into that space, for you don't get that freedom,'' he says. The audience too, over the years, says Kak, is more open to new ideas and willing to take risks of screening and watching films that do not adhere to censorship codes.

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