Ordinary Lives

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A Darker Side of Fair
Shedding new light upon issues of global diversity, this documentary focuses on the extent to which a "fairness fetish" has permeated various levels of Indian society. Today in India fairness is a benchmark for beauty; marriages are decided on the basis of skin colour; and fair means "lucky" whereas dark…
Kamala and Raji
"If we get rid of the fear in our own lives, we can go anywhere without a care..." Produced and directed by the makers of Dadi's Family, this film is about Kamala and Raji, two women of the working poor who live in Ahmedabad, capital of the west Indian state…
Tongpan
The British Film Institute calls Tongpan "One of the most important "third world" films of the decade. It is based on the real life experience of a farmer from the poverty-stricken Northeast region of Thailand. Tongpan and his family are forced off their land when a dam built nearby caused…
Modern Day Slaves
The film depicts the story of Filipino Overseas Workers who leave their home country to find work in another country. Many of them work as domestic helpers and are known to be called Modern Day Slaves. They earn a few dollars to support themselves and send the rest of their…
Eunuchs - India's Third Gender
BBC
This extraordinary film explores the twilight world of India's eunuchs who both exploit and bewail their ill-defined status within society. The eunuchs introduce a special world, where for them divinity and daily life alternate in the flash of an exquisitely made-up eye. A 3,600-strong ancient sect who claim to be…
Sons of Shiva
Sons of Shiva is a sustained attempt to film a four-day ceremony concerned with the worship of Shiva. Devotees of the God Shiva are shown from the initial taking of the Sacred Thread through gradually intensifying action to a culmination in a variety of ascetic and self denying practices. Devotees…
Leaving Home - Traditional Marriage in India
Leaving home is what most of us do -- eventually. It's different for Renu. Will she fulfill her dreams of leaving her village home to become a teacher in the big city? Most of India's 1.2 billion people live in villages. This documentary is about one of these villages, 100…
Miyah: The Life of a Javanese Woman
This is an intimate portrait of a Javanese woman who works as a servant and a cook for a prominent family in Jakarta, Indonesia. While there are many aspects of her life that are specific to circumstances pertinent to Indonesia, Miyah also presents us with a more universal picture. Women…
The Japanese Version
The Japanese Version goes beyond the stereotypical images of Japan that are too often presented to Americans, and asks the questions: What happens to Western cultural ideas and objects when they are placed in a new setting? How have the Japanese navigated the flood of foreign influences that has been…
Algorithms
In India, a group of boys dream of becoming Chess Grandmasters. But this is no ordinary chess and these are no ordinary players. Algorithms is a documentary that transports us into the little known world of Blind Chess. Chess is an ancient and universal game with origins in India. Filmed…
My Name Is Salt - Salt Harvesting in India
Year after year, Sanabhai brings his family to a seasonal saline desert in Gujarat India, where they harvest what they proudly proclaim to be the world's whitest salt, using the same painstaking, manual techniques as generations before them. Hardship and exploitation loom large in this film, but director Farida Pacha…
Hello Photo
In her startling, exquisitely shot Hello Photo, documentarist Nina Davenport turns the conventions of the travelogue inside out. She takes us to India and abandons us there, leaving us to believe what we see through her eyes. Her movie replicates the experience of being a traveller and thus a voyeur,…