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Accepted Film:

Broken Gods: collaborative filmmaking in troubled times  
Alice Tilche (University of Leicester) Dakxinkumar Bajrange (Nomad Movies Pvt Ltd)

Film short abstract:

As India’s indigenous groups convert to Hinduism, their gods have become broken loosing their power to protect the community from scarcity. While the film offers a portrait of a society in the midst of change, post screening discussions will address etico-political dilemmas of collaboration.

Film long abstract:

As India's current Hindu nationalist government pushes to redefine India as a homogenous Hindu nation, the ways of life of its indigenous adivasi populations are coming under greater threat. Broken gods documents the social impact of Hindu religious evangelism on the Rathava and Bhil adivasi communities of western India. As indigenous groups join Hindu religious sects, their old gods are literally becoming broken - devotional mural paintings are being whitewashed from homes, and the earthen figurines in honour of village gods and ancestors are being left to fall apart. While for those who convert joining a Hindu sect offers the allure of a better life, those who continue to follow their old ways have become ostracized by their communities. Their broken gods have lost the power to protect them from illness and scarcity. The film is a collaboration between anthropologist Alice Tilche and adivasi activist and filmmaker Dakxin Bajranje Chhara. Post screening discussions will address two interlinked dilemmas linked to the theme of responsibility and who speaks for whom. The first is an ethico-political question: what does it mean to collaborate with marginal indigenous communities, whose members are aligned with powerful right-wing projects? The second is an aesthetic-representational one: while visual anthropology has embraced experimentation and reflexivity as canons for assessing good films, and especially good practice, how do we engage with indigenous or activists’ concern with truth?

Panel Film01
Films I
  Session 1 Thursday 1 April, 2021, -