For over four decades, Girish Kasaravalli has been fulfilling Satyajit Ray's prediction that the future lies in Kannada cinema. Kasaravalli first emerged as a major force of the Indian New Wave in 1977 with Ghatashraddha (The Ritual), which won Best Feature Film, among other awards, in his home state of Karnataka, India; it was the only Indian film included in a list of 100 important world films compiled by the Cinematheque Francaise. Like other filmmakers of his generation working outside the Bollywood mainstream, Kasaravalli has focused on injustices and inequality perpetrated by the caste system, Brahmin orthodoxy, and patriarchy, as well as by chronic corruption, a ruius push for gentrification, and unprecedented, disruptive global forces in the new India. Yet his films can never be reduced to protest art. Rather, his extraordinarily diverse body of work is marked by a consistent attitude toward cinema's need to raise questions rather than provide answers. In films that range from experimentalism to lush historical drama to an inventive cinema verite, Kasaravalli allows viewers to explore on their own terms the singular worlds he creates. This book introduces Kasaravalli's groundbreaking career with an in-depth look at eight of his most important films, all available with English subtitles. Kasaravalli thinks globally and works locally. U.R. ANANTHAMURTHY Kasaravalli has been one of the most underestimated filmmakers of our time. MAITHILI RAO Kasaravalli has . . . extended the very range of conventional social realism by bringing into his framework various aspects of dynamic living cultural traditions. The 'culturing' of social realism has been Girish's most outstanding contribution to Indian cinema. N. MANU CHAKRAVARTHY
SAKTI SENGUPTA, founder of the Asian American Film and Theater Project, was a playwright, theater director, actor, and film and theater critic in India. After coming to the U.S. 35 years ago, he has written and directed plays based on the works of Kafka, Beckett, Pirandello, Tagore, and Mahasweta Devi, and wrote and directed a short film, Voices in the Afternoon. Sengupta is the director of the New Jersey Independent South Asian Cine Fest - the first and only annual film festival in New Jersey of films by and about South Asians from around the world.