The film ‘Jallikattu’ was declared at the beginning of this week as the official entry of India at Oscars of Lijo Jose Pellissery’s film.
The Malayalam movie Jallikattu is selected from 27 Hindi, Malayalam, Odia and Marathi in the contest, is competing for the ‘Best Foreign Feature Film.
Not all are persuaded that India was the best choice. The spectacle of chasing the buffalo “demands no knowledge of the culture, history or politics of this land” says the National Award-winning film critic N Manu Chacravarthy.
“The movie is beautifully made, but I wonder what we’re trying to offer to the West. Do we mean that we can film the size and consistency of them too? The great past of film comes from a particular cultural, historical and political context,” Manu says.
The film leaves many loose ends, he believes. “A buffalo is running amok and people are chasing it. A general wonder why the right to live is denied to animals. This character pose a significant ethical, ecological question about the trampling on of nature and its distortion, but it is not answered by the filmmaker,” he says.
Manu also considers a ‘unconscious narcissistic civilisation’ by comparing the modern human being with primitives, barbarists and savages.