About Shashwati Talukdar

Posts by Shashwati Talukdar:

    Oblique, eerie and mysterious, ‘The Girl’ is about the violence and horror of childhood. The Girl lives in an isolated mansion in the woods in the mountains of India, with a woman, the ‘Mad Lady.’ This woman is her caretaker and watches her all the time.  Their odd life is disrupted when the Mad Lady can see something she was previously oblivious to.

    Inspired by Indian Gothic greats like ‘Mahal’ from the forties and the European avant-garde films from the twenties, ‘The Girl’ is a gothic tale about the resilience of children.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    Shashwati Talukdar is an independent filmmaker whose recent films include ‘Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir!‘ (2011) and ‘Wall Stories’ (2014).  Her work ranges from documentary, narrative and experimental and has shown at venues including the Busan International Film Festival, Margaret Mead Film Festival, Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Whitney Biennial. Shashwati worked as an editor in the film and television industry, where she got her start as an assistant editor for a TV show by Michael Moore. Shashwati has taught at NYU, Arcadia and Temple University. Visit Shashwati’s production company: Four Nine and a Half Pictures. Email Shashwati at: shashwati@fournineandahalf.com

    Over sixty million Indians belong to communities imprisoned by the British as “criminals by birth.” The Chhara of Ahmedabad, in Western India, are one of 198 such “Criminal Tribes.” Declaring that they are “born actors,” not “born criminals,” a group of Chhara youth have turned to street theater in their fight against police brutality, corruption, and the stigma of criminality — a stigma internalized by their own grandparents. Please Don’t Beat Me, Sir! follows the lives of these young actors and their families as they take their struggle to the streets, hoping their plays will spark a revolution. (75 min. 2011) [Learn more.]

    ‘Wall Stories’ is about how a dispossessed saint, a newly minted gentry and generations of painters created a syncretic culture in the Western Himalayas.

    WATCH IT NOW ON VOD

    ‘Wall Stories’ is a pictorial journey through the Garhwal region in the Western Himalayas. Centered around Dehradun between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna, it tells the fascinating story of the history and culture of its people through mural paintings found in the area, and the daily life that is lived around them.

    Going from a portrait of Noor Jehan dressed as a Pahari lady, to depictions of the ‘Indar Sabha’ the first Urdu full length play, these painting from the end of the 17th to the 19th century these paintings defy the boundaries of low art and high art, religion and received history.

    ‘Wall Stories’ uses imaginary conversations, treats the subject of the paintings as living subjects and plays with its subject matter to explore the space and meaning created in the everyday lives of the people who encounter these paintings.