Char . . . The No-man’s Island
- JAPAN, INDIA, ITALY, NORWAY, DENMARK / 2012 / Bengali, Hindi / Color / 88 min
Director: Sourav Sarangi
Sand islands, called “char” in Bengali, float up from the great Ganges river, which flows along the border of India and Bangladesh. The wildly weaving river’s path changes drastically when cyclones strike; the sandbanks shrink, and are sometimes wiped out entirely. Though the islands are barren, people have lived there from long ago, making ends meet by traveling to both banks to trade. They live on a national border, an area where no one is allowed to enter, and they must pass through strict security checkpoints whenever they come in and out of the islands. In recent years, because of the effects of dams and the rainy season, the flow of the river has changed dramatically, and the sandbanks are gradually disappearing. This film closes in on the harsh reality of those people, who live under the significant influence caused by the development of modern India—dams and national borders. Director is Sourav Sarangi, whose Bilal received Awards of Excellence and Community Cinema Award at the YIDFF 2009. This film was made by a joint production with NHK.