Based on a gravedigger's tale, this film marks Chitra Palekar's debut. "I did not direct a film earlier because I did not get an opportunity, or maybe because I did not take the opportunity. However, there is no nervousness, no jitters. I have been here long enough."
She is happy with her output. "This is based on Mahashweta Devi's short story `Baayen'. And Mahashweta Devi raises serious issues. People can interpret it the way they want. If seriousness is boring for some people, then others walk out of comedies!"
But what took her so long? "Simply because I wanted to do it my way. No compromises for me. It is a film and a subject I feel passionately about. I have made this film for everybody, not for any niche audience.
"It would be snobbish to think that I can decide the film any person should watch. I don't calculate the audience profile while working. I just love the medium of cinema and wanted to make a good film that people will remember, and will have an impact on their lives."
Starring Nandita Das and Atul Kulkarni in pivotal roles, Maati Maay, says Palekar, "is a story of human relations. It is about superstitions. It is about how a patriarchal society treats a woman when she defies the social norms." Beginning with the Toronto Film Festival, and now through with IFFI, the film is scheduled to be screened at the International Film Festival of Kerala (beginning December 8) before heading for Bangkok and Cleveland for other film festivals.
ZIYA US SALAM
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