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Paltadacho Munis

The Man Beyond the Bridge

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A mountain forest in the southern Indian state of Goa. A group of workers farm a largely inaccessible, sheltered piece of woodland. Their supervisor Vinayak leads a lonely life there, mourning his wife, who he lost following an accident. When a confused, ragged, outcast woman turns up one night in front of his hut, he scares her away. Yet when she turns up a second time, Vinayak feels sympathy for her. He begins to look after the woman, somewhat crudely to begin with at least. A gentle friendship slowly develops between the two of them. Ignoring the talk of the people in the nearby village, he eventually lets her move into the house with him. When she becomes pregnant, it is Vinayak himself who now runs the risk of being cast out. A political leader from the village uses the scandal to advance his own power politics, directing the fury of the villagers on to the couple.

Laxmikant Shetgaonkar's first feature is told in his native tongue of Konkani, a language otherwise hardly used in Indian cinema. Shetgaonkar's silent story touches on the essential questions relating to the ruling laws of community, power and abuse. The image of a rickety rope bridge, which connects the village to the forest and the protection it offers, ends up becoming a great metaphor.

India 2009, 96 min

by

Laxmikant Shetgaonkar

with

Chitranjan Giri
Veena Jomkar
Prasanthi Talpanker
Vasanth Josalkar
Deepak Amonkar

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National Film Development Corp. Ltd.