Anti-regime partisan Chandra confronts physical, social and political obstacles for his father's funeral. His search for a solution takes him to neighboring mountain villages and encounters with the police and rebel guerrillas. A portrait of post-civil war Nepal during the fragile deadlocked peace process.
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When his father dies, anti-regime partisan Chandra must travel to his remote mountain village after nearly a decade away. Little Pooja is anxiously awaiting the man she thinks is her father, but she's confused when Chandra arrives with Badri, a young street orphan rumored to be his son. Chandra must face his brother Suraj, who was on the opposing side during the Nepali civil war. The two brothers cannot put aside political feelings while carrying their father's body down the steep mountain path to the river for cremation. Suraj storms off in a rage, leaving Chandra with no other men strong enough to help. Under pressure from the village elders, Chandra must seek help from outside the village to obey the rigid caste and discriminatory gender traditions he fought to eliminate during the war. Chandra searches for a solution in neighboring villages, among the police, guests at a local wedding, and rebel guerrillas... Written by
Well-designed screenplay showing things may seem to have changed in Nepal, but the old caste system and former political differences still persist
Seen at the Rotterdam film festival 2017 (website: iffr.com/en). It was a well-designed story showcasing that things may seem to have changed in Nepal (e.g. a new constitution) but that old differences in caste's and political demarcation lines still exist, all of that despite peace being the new norm where everyone should live together as a new nation. Choices for or against a particular political party that someone made 10 years ago, are still held against you nowadays. This is best illustrated by the two brothers, who cannot help continuing to argue while carrying their father's body to his grave.
Nice icing on the cake is what we get to see about burying rituals as per ancient traditions. It takes a considerable part of the running time, yet it is interesting for us to watch and certainly not redundant.
A new constitution is underway. This is clearly hanging in the air throughout the story. We hear the announcement that it passed all legal procedures and now became effective near the end of the movie. Less pronounced but still a topic covered by the screenplay, is that the position of women did not change, despite everyone being considered equal under the new constitution. All such things are cleverly interwoven in the story without ever monopolizing the proceedings.
Last but not least, I cannot avoid a special mention for two children roles. They add an extra dimension to the story by asking pertinent questions at times, or just by providing assistance for Chandra, persistent in spite of being sent away several times.
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