Shot with 16mm film stock that expired in 2002—the same year as the state-sponsored anti-Muslim genocide in Gujarat—and filmed amid the anti-CAA protests in Delhi, BAROBAR JAGTANA, Suneil Sanzgiri’s cinematic trilogy, traces lines and lineages of ancestral memory, poetry, history, songs, decoloniality and diaspora. AT HOME BUT NOT AT HOME (2019) utilizes various modes of seeing at a distance to question the construction of identity and anti-colonial solidarity across continents. LETTER FROM YOUR FAR-OFF COUNTRY (2020) blurs boundaries of the epistolary format through a letter written by the filmmaker directed towards a distant relative, who was a revolutionary freedom fighter, prisoner’s rights activist, and Communist party leader. GOLDEN JUBILEE (2021) takes as its starting point scenes of the filmmaker’s father navigating a virtual rendering of their ancestral home in Goa, India, created using the same technologies of surveillance that mining companies use to map locations for iron ore in the region. A tool for extraction and exploitation becomes a method for preservation.
Moderated by Lana Lin, Director of the Graduate Certificate in Documentary Media Studies. Co-produced with Documentary Program Associates: Cacau Araujo (Doc Studies ’22 & Media Studies ’23) and Tiffany Jiang (Doc Studies ’22 & Media Studies ’23).
Suneil Sanzgiri is an Indian American artist, researcher, and filmmaker whose work contends with questions of identity, heritage, culture and diaspora in relation to structural violence. Sanzgiri’s work has been screened extensively at festivals and venues around the world including International Film Festival Rotterdam, New York Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Fest, True/False Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Doc Lisboa, Camden International Film Fest, Viennale, e-Flux, REDCAT, the Menil Collection, the Block Museum, Le Cinéma Club, and the Criterion Collection, and has won awards at BlackStar Film Fest, Open City Docs Fest, and VideoEx. His work has been supported by grants from Creative Capital, the Jerome Foundation, NYSCA, Field of Vision, and the Foundation for Contemporary Art. He was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in Filmmaker Magazine’s Fall 2021 Issue, and in Art in America’s “New Talent” issue in 2022.
Presented by the Graduate Certificate in Documentary Media Studies
School of Media Studies, The New School