Screening at the India International Centre in Delhi on August 4, 2017

“When I was young, our parents and grandparents used to scare us saying if we dont eat our food, or sleep, or stop making noise,then the Hakki Pikkis would come and take us away. Thank you for this film that helped me see beyond that fear that was generated in our minds about this community that we grew up fearing!” (Tanuja Kanvinde, architect originally from Coorg)

“When I went with my husband to Karwar as a young bride it was covered with forests. And whenever we used to drive or walk on the roads we would come across Lambanis and Hakki Pikkis. The Lambanis would atleast stop to talk to us when we approached them But the Hakki pikkis who in those days would be dressed in loin cloths and bare bodied and the women in skirts, would just vanish into the forests the moment we saw them. They were like birds in flight! The film has captured them so beautifully” (Komala Varadhan, Classical Dancer, Choreographer, Painter, Photographer, Writer and Researcher)

” It was so simply told. And yet so nuanced, layered and moving. Before making policies like that of resettlement of such communities we should watch such films. ” (Retired Secretary, Department of Social Justice)

“It was brilliant. This was like our story. The story of the Nagas. You have provided us a template for how stories of such communities should be told.” (James, Action Aid)

“Lovely film. I liked it Superb characters, women particularly, excellent camera. Little complaint though, would have liked it to be a bit more visual, extracting more from the camerawork. But overall great. Would definitely like to watch it again more closely.  (Ranjan Dey, magic lantern movies)

“Thanks a ton for inviting me to the screening. It was really interesting to listen to the stories of these tribes- stories of survival, of resistance, of persistence, of simply existing. I was introduced to a different kind of struggle that I have very less knowledge of and so I would really want to thank you and Vinod and wish you the very best.” (Richa Jairaj,  Jagori)

“I LOVED the film…so many shots still stayed with me. I think the beauty of the film was that it unfolded like multiple stories in some magical kaliedoscope. It was very colourful. And the language was such a medley. It moved from traces of gujarati, Hindi words, Telugu, kannada… incredible sounds. But, and this is a minor ‘but’, I felt there was a bit the film didn’t reveal. I don’t mean the legal/illegal world they inhabited (which you explained in the Q&A) but their social structures. One reference is there to the matriarchal structure but the men who have the power but I would have liked little more explanation/information on the tribe’s hierarchies, customs etc.” (Geeta Seshu, Journalist)

After the pre release in Hasthapanahalli in April this year, the release in Bangalore on July 22 it was time for the film to move to Delhi!

The India International Centre screened the film on August 4 and despite our apprehensions of a new city and empty auditorium we are grateful that it filled up by the time we started the screening. And everybody stayed. Not only till the end of the screening but many stayed back for a most intense discussion that carried on for an hour after the film got over. A discussion that allayed also our fears of how a predominantly Kannada film with no attempt to be generic and universal would be viewed in the Northern part of the country! But obviously the Hakki Pikkis are world citizens. As some of the very humbling and insightful responses we got demonstrated!

Interesting though to see the differences at each screening. In Hasthapanally the film was viewed casually by a community that wandered in and out since they they took their exploits on screen as they own little home movie that they are familiar with. In Bangalore where friends and our extended families and community dominated, the film was embraced with love as an extension of us.!In Delhi, the community and the ideas the film generated sparked off so much of a debate and reflection!

Thank you Reena Mohan and IIC who made the screening happen and thank you Action Aid (that supported the making of the film) for facilitating the participation of so many. And thank you friends from Delhi who took the time off to participate and give us the all important feedback.

Next stop Dharwad where Shri G.N. Devy has organised a screening on the occasion of International Indigenous People’s Day on August 9. Representatives of several nomadic communities are expected to participate in a full day programme that will end with a screening of the film.

 

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