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Charles B Wang Center

PATANG: Feature Screening with Short Film SANGAM

Discussion with Director Prashant Bhargava

PATANG (Prashant Bhargava / 2011 / USA / 93 minutes)Seema Biswas

A poetic journey to the old city of Ahmedabad, PATANG weaves together the stories of six people transformed by the energy of India's largest kite festival.

Every year a million kites fill the skies above Ahmedabad–dueling, soaring, tumbling and flying high. When a successful Delhi businessman takes his daughter on a surprise trip back to his childhood home for the festival, an entire family has to confront its own fractured past and fragile dreams.

Music and fireworks, food and laughter, a kaleidoscope of color and light, the magic of the kite flying high – a traditional recipe of healing and renewal.

With naturalistic performances from actors and non-actors alike, bold, lyrical editing, vibrant cinematography and a kinetic score, Patang delights the senses and nourishes the spirit. Featuring Seema Biswas (The Bandit Queen, Water, Midnight's Children), Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Peepli Live, Dev D, Firaaq, Black Friday), and Sugandha Garg (Tere Bin Laden, Jaane Tu Jaane NaMy Name is Khan).

This film is joyous, but more than that: It's lovely in its construction... It flies as free and colorfully as a kite. (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

During the day and night of the festival... certain familiar themes appear: about wealth in the new India, family responsibility, old ways versus modern ones. They seem fresh here. So does Patang. (NY Times)

Uplifting... Colofully vivid - Reminiscent of Wong Kar Wai. (Robert Abel, Los Angeles Times)
 
SANGAM (Prashant Bhargava / 2004/ USA / 28 minutes)

Two South Asian men on a subway share their nostalgia, loneliness, hopes and despair about life in America.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 7:00 PM
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre
Suggested admission $5
 
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Monday, November 5, 2012

KUMARE

(Vikram Gandhi / 2011 / USA / 84 minutes / English)KUMARE

Inquisitive about notions of faith, doubt, and truth, filmmaker Vikram Gandhi transforms into Sri Kumaré, a fictional guru who lives in the real world. Kumaré makes surprisingly genuine connections with his followers, playing the role of a mirror that people can use to gaze upon the infinite potential that is already deep inside themselves. The result is a funny, moving film about telling a big lie and experiencing a great truth.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Vikram Gandhi.

Prepare to have your assumptions pitched out the window by this tense, surprisingly probing satirical documentary—not just about religious longing and "spirituality," its ostensible subjects, either, but also about how deep the genre... can go. (The Village Voice)

As an inquiry into the matter of faith, especially New Age orthodoxy, "Kumaré" is neither exposé nor celebration, but a provocation... an absorbing portrait of modern-day seekers and the ways that some people do need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. (LA Times)

Monday, November 5, 2012, 7:00 PM Charles B. Wang Center Theatre
Suggested Admission: $5

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

THEY CALL IT MYANMAR: LIFTING THE CURTAIN

(Robert H. Lieberman / 2012 / USA / 88 minutes)

myanmar shotShot clandestinely over a two year period, this film provides a rare look into the second most isolated country on the planet, held in a stasis by a brutal military regime for almost a half century. From over 100 interviews of people across Burma, including the recently released Aung San Suu Kyi, interwoven with stunning footage of Burmese life this documentary is truly unique. Praised by Roger Ebert as “a thing of beauty... a hymn to a land that has grown out of the oldest cultures in Asia.”

This screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Mr. Htun Han.

Mr. Htun Han is a Burmese marine biologist who fled the South Asian country in 1975 for a freer life, now lives in Amagansett, NY.  A partner in Hamptons Realty Group, he is an active volunteer fire fighter and eloquent defender of civil liberties and political freedom. Htun discusses his life in Myanmar and takes questions from audience.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 7:00, Wang Center Theater

Presented in conjunction with the Port Jefferson Documentary Series.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BEYOND GRACE

(Sara Baur-Harding / 2011 / USA, India / 78 minutes / English)

Mohiniyattam dancersAn intimate portrait of Bharati Shivaji and Vijayalakshmi, mother and daughter masters of Mohiniyattam dance. Shivaji is credited with reconstructing the classical Indian dance form, while her daughter Vijayalakshmi has advanced the dance form by continually challenging tradition through the unconventional use of multicultural music and innovative choreographies. This film documents the creative collaboration of these determined and graceful women.

Screening to be accompanied by a performance from Vijayalakshmi.  Discussion to follow.

Vijayalakshmi’s Mohiniyattam is delightful with delicate movements, deep torso inflections and soft undulations. Though the femininity and grace are generic to the dance style, Vijayalakshmi (daughter and disciple of eminent dancer Bharati Shivaji) adds charm to the movement vocabulary with her vivacious nature and expressive eyes. (The Hindu)

… encapsulates the vision and missionary zeal of the world renowned exponents of Mohiniyattam, Bharati Shivaji and daughter Vijayalakshmi. (South Asia Mail)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 7:00PM
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre
Admission: $5 (all)
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