A Death in the Gunj (2016)
Confluence: Festival of India in Australia
Asia Pacific Screen Awards Screening Program
Presented by Screen Queensland
Under 15s with a parent of guardian only
Director: Konkona Sen Sharma
Duration: 110 min
International Sales: Studioz IDrream
In competition at 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards
It is the late 1970s. A young and shy university student, Shutu, travels with his relatives to a colonial town for Christmas celebration. At the outset, the makings of a perfect family holiday are in place. But there is something in the Gunj (an Anglo-Indian village) that can’t be kept at bay, and Shutu soon finds himself grapping with the multiple personalities and interests at play.
Award-winning actress Konkona Sen Sharma (who also stars in this program’s Lipstick Under My Burkha) turns to directing and presents an exceptionally delicate and heartfelt debut. Resisting easy and conventional approaches to family drama, Sen Sharma’s gentle filmmaking captures the nuanced undercurrent beneath desire, power and class differences, something that will lead to irreversible results.
Along with an ensemble of India’s finest actors including Om Puri, A Death in the Gunj also features celebrated Bollywood star Kalki Koechlin at her most enticing, contrasting with Vikrant Massey’s sensitive performance as Shutu. This film announces Sen Sharma’s promising directorial talent, winning her a special presentation spot at last year’s Toronto, and Best India Female Filmmaker at Mumbai International Film Festival.
There will be a live musical performance by Cameron Ford in the cinema lobby following the screening. The performance will commence at 8 pm.