The best of IFFI through the years

The 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) scheduled to be held from November 20 to November 28, 2019 in Goa will have a Retrospective of Golden Peacock award-winning films of the past 49 years.

The curated section that retraces the journey of IFFI will showcase altogether eight films from eight different countries, opening with ‘Gamperaliya’ (Changes in the Village), directed by Lester James Peries, which is the first Golden Peacock award winner dating back to 1965.

‘Gamperaliya’ is a 1963 Sri Lankan drama film, adapted from the novel of the same name by Martin Wickramasinghe. The movie exemplifies Peries’ use of family tensions to symbolise wider issues such as the breakup of traditional village life due to the impact of modernisation.

The Iranian film, ‘At Five in the Afternoon’ (2003) directed by Samira Makhmalbaf; the Indian film, ‘Moner Manush’ (2010) directed by Goutam Ghose; the Colombian drama film, ‘Porfirio’ (2011) directed by Alejandro Landes; the British romantic drama film, ‘The Bostonians’ (1984) directed by James Ivory; the Chinese film, ‘The King of Masks’ (1996) directed by Tian Ming Wu; the Kazhak film, ‘Tulpan’ (2008) directed by Sergei Dvortsevoy; and the Russian film, ‘Leviathan’ (2014) directed by Andrey Zvyaginstev are the other films included in the Retrospective.

‘At Five in the Afternoon’ tells the story of an ambitious young woman trying to gain education in Afghanistan after the defeat of the Taliban. The title comes from a Federico García Lorca poem and is a tale of flourishing against the odds.

‘Moner Manush’, a Bengali film, is a biographical musical drama based on the life and philosophy of Lalon, a noted spiritual leader, poet and folk singer of Bengal in the 19th century.

‘Porfirio’ is based on the real-life story of Porfirio Ramirez, who is cast to play himself. Porfirio is paraplegic after being shot by a rogue police officer.

‘The Bostonians’ starring Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Reeve, Madeleine Potter and Jessica Tandy, is a film from the Merchant Ivory Productions, and is set among the Back Bay uppercrust of the 19th century.

‘The King of Masks’ is set in the 1930s China, with the character of Wang playing ‘The King of Masks’, an aged street performer, who practices the change-mask opera art of bian lian.

‘Tulpan’ was Kazakhstan’s 2009 Academy Awards official submission to Foreign Language Film category. The plot of the story follows the trials of Asa, a recently discharged Russian Navy sailor living in the remote Kazakhstan, his surrogate family, and his western culture-loving friend Boni.

‘Leviathan’ follows the story of Marvin Heemeyer – an American welder and an automobile muffler repair shop owner, who demolished numerous buildings with a modified bulldozer in Granby, Colorado on June 4, 2004 – which inspired the director to adapt it into a Russian setting.