Monday, October 10 – Film Screening
What the Fields Remember
(52 mins, Bengali and English, 2015)
Followed by a discussion with the director, Subasri Krishnan
Moderated by Debashree Mukherjee (MESAAS)
Co-sponsored by Film Program, School of the Arts
Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Location: Lifetime Screening Room, 511 Dodge Hall, 2960 Broadway at 116th Street
See Campus Map at <http://www.columbia.edu/node/4599.html>
On 18th February 1983, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, more than 2,000 Bengali-speaking Muslims were killed in the town of Nellie and its surrounding villages in Assam, India. People’s homes were burnt down and their fields destroyed. Most of those who died were old people, women and children. To date, the Nellie massacre remains on the margins of India’s public history, and is virtually wiped out from the nation’s collective memory.
The documentary film What the Fields Remember revisits the massacre three decades later. From the survivors’ retelling of the event, and their struggles of coping with loss and memories that refuse to fade away, the film attempts to explore ideas of violence, memory and justice, to understand how physical spaces continue to mark people’s relationship to history and memory, and to raise larger questions around collective memory – of what we choose to remember and why we choose to forget.
Subasri Krishnan is a filmmaker and heads the Media Lab at the Indian Institute for Human Settlement (IIHS), where she teaches and curates the Urban Lens film festival. She is the Director of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television Asian Film Festival, to be held in New Delhi in March 2017. Her films include Brave New Medium, on internet censorship in Southeast Asia, and This or That Particular Person, which looks at the idea of official identity documents and the Unique Identity number. The latter film was awarded Best Short Documentary Film at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK), 2013