Once Upon A Time in Calcutta
When Ela’s daughter dies, she no longer sees any reason to stay with her husband. She decides to move out, but she keeps running into trouble: The bank won’t give her a loan, her step-brother refuses to sell a derelict theatre that they own together, and she receives an indecent proposal from the boss of a Ponzi scheme. It’s not easy living in Calcutta.
Director Aditya Vikram Sengupta has made a movie that speaks about his feelings and thoughts about his home city, Calcutta – or Kolkata, as it is named now – a city in tremendous growth, whose citizens are struggling to keep up. Sengupta wanted to make a movie about people gasping for breath in a city that won’t stop growing.
This is a meditative film with complicated fates, but it is also full of hope and dreams; visually is is characterised by beautiful tableaus and moody and expressionistic lighting. You are easily pulled into the plight of the characters and you want them to succeed, but the city itself seems stacked against them.
This text is from the Films from the South Festival, where the film had its Scandinavian Premiere.
"A cinematic poem to contemporary Kolkata, from Indian directing prodigy Aditya Vikram Sengupta"
Director Aditya Vikram Sengupta
Producer Jonaki Bhattacharya
Production Company FOR FILMS
Norwegian co-producer Ingrid Lill Høgtun, Linda Bolstad Strønen & Marie Fuglestein Lægreid
Norwegian co-production company DUO Film
Runtime 2h 11m