About the film
The film follows the life of Gauri, a seven year old girl, over four days, where a small, insignificant incident at her school gives rise to a series of events which lead to a grave end. It is her first glimpse into the ugly side of nationalism, a concept she is not able to comprehend in its entirety, but which makes a lasting impression on her young mind.
‘Mahaantam’ revolves around the idea of nationalism. The project was conceived around the background of the 2016 JNU incident. The film is imagined as a sequel to my last classroom project ‘Vande Mataram’. The film deals with the ideas of a forced and cultivated sense of patriotism and nationalism, and how this dynamic especially plays out in the minds of children. The film also tries to bring forth the restrictive capacities of patriotism, and wants the audience to reflect on the fact that nationalism doesn’t give the freedom to question itself, and in the process society curbs its own freedom of expression and thought. The film chooses to do this through fiction as there is more control over the finer details of the medium, and hence there is more space for subtlety, especially when it comes to talking about complex socio-political issues.
About the director
Shridhar Sudhir is a graduate of Film and Video Communication at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, before which he pursued a B.F.A. in Visual Communication. Hailing from Patna, Bihar, he has spent part of his schooling in a residential school in Pilani and then in Varanasi. He has been making independent films. He worked in Mumbai for a year, where he developed feature film stories, after which he shifted to Himachal, which is where he is based now.