It would be an odd young film-maker who wouldn’t be ecstatic about a review by Wim Wenders.
Kolkata-based film-maker Supriyo Sen’s short documentary Wagah was one of the five that the 2009 jury of the Talent Campus at the Berlin International Film Festival-chaired by Wenders-decided to fund. The German film-maker also made sure it was the closing film of the festival. The film has won close to 30 awards since.
Now, in a double coup of sorts, Sen’s film is among the first set to be part of the newly announced Economist Film Project. Since 28 April, in a tie-up between the American broadcasting network PBS and The Economist magazine, PBS is showcasing clips from selected documentaries, which will also be the focus of special segments airing regularly on PBS as well as the project website (www.film.economist.com) through the year.
Wagah, a film about the daily ritual closing of the border between India and Pakistan, looks through the eyes of three children who sell DVDs of the parade to onlookers. They remain unmoved by the “patriotic” frenzy around them. Wenders distils the film’s essence with his pithy comment that is now the film’s strap line: “Wagah is a manifesto against any wall that divides people”.