If only Girish Kasaravalli was a Bengali auteur

He doesn’t crow about his feats, appear on magazine covers, or give loud interviews. Why, even in the 21st century, he has the utter indecency to make films with a total budget of Rs 35 lakh (Aamir Khan‘s Lagaan had a marketing budget of Rs 1 crore; Rajnikanth‘s Robot cost over Rs 100 crore).

Yet, staggeringly, the Kannada film maker Girish Kasavaralli has quietly accumulated six national awards for his portrayal of the social landscape, winning  a Swarna Kamal in each of the last four decades—for Tabarana Kathe (1986), Thaayi Saheba (1997), Dweepa (2001), Kurmavatara (2012).

The 61-year-old auteur in an Q&A in The Hindu:

What according to you is a political film?

Political films are not necessarily those that are made about politics, but anything that subverts our perception. No one can make a politically free statement, which is naive or contradictory in nature. The movie “Bairi” is a classic example where institutionalisation of religion is portrayed. What forms our perception by viewing it makes it a political or a non-political film.

Photograph: courtesy The Tribune

Also read: Why national media avoids national awards

When last did both “Bests” hail from the same State?

‘If we are fated to die, no one can stop it…’

Has Bollywood wrecked our film sensibilities?

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10 Responses to “If only Girish Kasaravalli was a Bengali auteur”

  1. chidu22 Says:

    He has definitely made the state proud with his works over the years. If he hasn’t already received kannadarathna award then he is one of the eligible ones. Thanks Mr Kasaravalli for such good movies.May your tribe grow.

  2. Sufi Says:

    Koormavatara didn’t get a Swarnakamal.

  3. A Journalist Says:

    He is one of the best in India. Self effacing. Gentleman.

  4. harkol Says:

    Those who love their craft can create magic even with meager resources. Greatest painters use the same canvas and paints that ordinary painters use, but draw memorable paintings.

    Kasaravalli is one such great artist, who can create movies that’ll be appreciated for generations.

  5. Someone Says:

    “If only Girish Kasaravalli was a Bengali auteur”
    Oh you right.. I am tired of hearing about Satyajit ray as sole cinema guy in India, R.Tagore as the sole poet etc etc..

    The blabbering Bengalis and their stupid regionalism.!

  6. Cinebuff Says:

    When i mentioned to a bunch of colleagues that i watched my first Kannada films Dweepa and Kanasemba Kudureyaneri, i got “only people like you watch such films” in return. The group then went on talking about the superstar’s latest blockbuster.

  7. subbulakshmi Says:

    i am very sad that byari is sara abubakkar’s novella chandragiriya teeradalli and no one is bothered that she is not given credit. the national award jury should take note of it and take back the award.

  8. NanKannada Says:

    yes.., simplicity does not work in today’s world. Its only gilts and glamor that captures attention.

  9. bariolu Says:

    Kurmavatara has not won the Swarna Kamal. But you missed the first of his Swarna Kamalas for Ghatashraddha in 1977.

  10. RaoWords Says:

    Will Kurmavatara get released in movie halls?? It would be a record if it runs for more than a week. Why, people doesn’t like reality, or anything that has commonsense.

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