Arrivals and Departures : A Glimpse of Contemporary Asian Cinema

A project curated by renowned film critic CS Venkateswaran Arrivals and Departures: A Glimpse of
Contemporary Asian Cinema, in a journey to find out what contemporary Asian cinema looks like.
Films of directors from China, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India are selected for
this venture. The movies are all about the various layers of contemporary life – of personal
experiences and dreams, social dilemmas and conflicts, and confrontations with tradition and
Some of the notable movies screened as a part of Arrivals and Departures were:

A Kannada movie by Ram Reddy, Thithi is as much reality as it is a fiction. The death of Singregowda,
who is a patriarch, leads his grandson Thammappa to a state of frenzy. The family land is still in the
name of Singregowda. But Thammappa cares, and what he does to try and save the land forms the
thread of the story.

A period drama from Georgia that talks about the first democratically elected president of Georgia,
Zviad Gamsakhurdia. He lost his power in a coup and flees to the mountains. All he has is the hope
for a better tomorrow. Will he achieve his dream?

The return
A movie from Singapore directed by Green Zeng. Wen is a political prisoner, who was arrested for
being a communist. Years later, he returns as an old man. The man is invited to a new present, but
will he be able to handle?

Chauti koot
Based on the Sikh separatist movement, Chauti koot is based on the book “Hun main theek-thaak
haan” by Waryam Singh Sandhu. The movie is directed by Gurvindher Singh and talks about the
conflict between the modern state and the separatists.

Crescent moon
Directed by Ismail Basbeth, this Indonesian movie tries to find Hilal, he has all the support from his
religious father and her sister.


Pathirakalam is a Malayalam movie directed by Priyanandan. What does Pathirakalam means? A life
devoid of light. A female oriented movie that traces the life of Jahanara , a foreign educated girl
coming to Kerala in search of her father who is missing
All these movies have elements of contemporary life to them. Elements of conflict. Each movie has a
strong character with a strong identity.

Curated by :
C.S. Venkiteswaran is an art critic, professor and documentary film maker from Kerala. He was
presented the National Film award for the best critic in 2009.

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