As someone who spends tons of time buried in books of all kinds, the visual arts were never really my forte. I never particularly paid much heed to this form of artistry. However, after exploring film and narrative for a whole semester, I’ve understood the role and impact of the cinema in broadening the minds of individuals, thanks to the film festivals in Bangalore.
Coming from Goa, I’m deeply ashamed to admit that I never attended or even remotely participated in the International Film Festival India (IFFI) that, every year, draws in scores and scores of people from all over the world. And there I was, never understanding what I was missing out on.
It was only when I moved to Bangalore to further pursue my ambitions that I came across two film festivals that I believe, changed my life.
Film Festivals in Bangalore
The Bangalore International Film Festival was one such five-day event that just bombarded my mind. From someone who never watched a single foreign language film to one who watched ONLY foreign language films (at the event), I finally understood the importance of subtitles. These films were beautiful beyond imagination. And if dubbed, I believe they’d completely lose out on their charm.
An instance of this is a film I had watched earlier – Juan José Campanella’s The Secret in Their Eyes whose American remake doesn’t even come close to the original Spanish version. The way the words rolled off their tongues – that effect wouldn’t have had the kind of impact it did if dubbed in English. In fact, a scene from Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You reminds me of just that. The protagonist is made to watch a foreign language film, which she earlier mocks, but when she actually watches it, she ends up thoroughly impressed at the effect it has on her and how beautiful the film actually is.
Of course, watching such films requires an added amount of concentration, particularly because you have to carefully read the sub-titles as well as watch the film but trust me, the end result is tremendously fruitful.
This is not to say that foreign language films should be given precedence over the vernacular, but rather, it’s just to point out that by dubbing a film, you take away from it whilst actually trying to make it more comprehensible to the audience. Instead, give the audience a real feel of the film by leaving it just the way it is.
Another film fest that was just beyond fantastic was the Queer Film Fest. Absolutely beautiful in its essence itself, this fest was an appreciation of communities that are so often shunned; of beautiful people that are pushed to the back but should, in reality, be brought to the front and celebrated to the fullest for having the courage to embrace their choices. The films here ranged from a few minutes to over an hour but every story was told impeccably, provoking thought at every turn. In fact, some of the creators of these films were available for a round of questions further augmenting the experience.
These films, whether queer or not tend to force people out of their comfort zones. They force individuals to re-think, if not think at all. They broaden perspectives, change outlooks and leave you with a lasting impact that is so different from that of any other form of media. Again, I’m not tipping the scales in favour of any form of art but instead, am attempting to point out as to how visuals create a different kind of impact which should be appreciated just the same.
So if you happen to be lurking around Bangalore in the month of January, do not miss out on these experiences – they’ve changed my life and are bound to have an equally lasting impact on yours.