LATHA KARTHEDATH Talk
Many Months in Mirya is a John Abraham award -winning (for best documentary) lyrical auto ethnography by Renu Sawant, shot over three seasons in her ancestral village of Mirya on the Konkan coast. The lumbering pace of the documentary offers the viewer a broad spectrum of life in the village which includes the ordinary wage labourer, the fisherman, the migrant labourer, women who are home makers, the witch doctor woman with healing powers yet firmly grounded, the crafty politician, the mad young girl, and the most interesting of all, the old man traveller. Claiming that he is the only person in the entire village who can recognize the Monalisa painting, the veteran traveller goes on a long narrative of his life spent in wandering. As he proudly offers a colourful reconteur of his travels to different places leaving his young wife and two little children alone at home, the wife sits beside him and makes no bones about offering her version of what his wanderlust entailed for her and her children.
With a frugal camera, Ms. Sawant makes transitions from scene to scene very subtly, with moonlit night sky and the sound of waves beating on the shore. She has very sensitively depicted most of what she intended to say, about the rural society of her ancestral village where modernity is very slow to creep in.