Steeped in drama

Irreplaceable

Steeped in drama

Some of the popular documentaries of late director Saratchandran were recently screened in the City. This was done as an ode to him for his immense contribution to highlighting socially relevant themes.

Those present in the audience couldn’t get enough of the documentaries. They averred in one voice that the unexpected death of Saratchandran was an irreparable loss to the world of documentary.

Saratchandran, who was known across the country, for his issue-based documentaries was an esteemed environmentalist who has recorded and documented several social movements in his films and actively taken part in several environment related agitations.
Being a civil rights activist, he felt the need for the electronic medium to reach out to a large number of people and effectively made use of the camera as a tool to portray the struggles of people fighting for cause .

 One of his popular documentaries, Chaliyar: The Final Struggle, highlighted the struggle of the local people to save their river and their lives from polluting Grasim Rayon factory. The film documented every minute detail regarding to the issue.

Another documentary Thousand Days and a Dream was about a four-and-half-year-old anti-Coca Cola struggle in Plachimada, Kerala. The agitation which attracted national and global attention has been captured on the camera and shares the dreams and sorrows of some of the active participants of the struggle and victims of the project.
Commenting about the work of Saratchandran, noted director Girish Kasaravalli appreciated the late film-maker’s dedication.

“I hadn’t seen any of his films till date but I have heard a lot about him. After watching one of his works, I can now say that he was a committed film-maker and a sensitive human being,” he says and adds, “Documentary film makers face the problem of screening their films. It is not true that, there are no audience for realistic films it’s just that such films don’t reach them at all. In this regard, Sarat has done a commendable job by screening his film across Kerala. I urge television channels to dedicate a part of their space to telecast such films so that people will know what is happening around them. Ironically, their commercial interest doesn’t allow them to take this brave step,” he lamented.

Film-maker Gopal Menon said, “Saratchandran made films on different environmental and social movements in Kerala and relentlessly campaigned for all these issues. Interestingly, he was one among the rare film-makers who made films on different political movements that were later successful.”


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