Pic Source: Screen grab from promo on Vimeo.
Documentary film by Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl
Venue: India Habitat Centre
Date: July 23, 2016
Documentary films have a special place in our blog. This nonfictional narrative has a certain honest appeal and the observation of life through this medium gives us fresh insights. We therefore try to attend documentary screenings in Delhi NCR whenever we can and write about them.
We recently watched the National Award winning documentary “I Cannot Give You My Forest” at a screening by CMS Vatavaran. The documentary covered the long strife between the mining company Vedanta’s attempt to acquire the Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa and its probable impact on the indigenous inhabitants of that area.
The plus point of the film is its fantastic cinematography in the forests of Orissa and the surrounding villages. The sound track with songs of this region was an interesting addition to the film.
What we did not work for us is the pedantic approach. We thoroughly agree that it is necessary to maintain our forests, mountains, indigenous cultures, traditions etc.
However, the modern developments of science and technology cannot be undermined. That has given us an equal identity and has in fact made possible for the directors to make this film.
Hence while we appreciate the concerns of the people of the region in case their natural habitat falls prey to mining, we cannot agree with the directors’ call of shunning urban life.
A more open approach would have provided a just insight in this fight for rights.