Sabad Nirantar is a search for the Word within the word; a poised reflection on the formless essence of reality expressed through the living resonance, continuing and constant exchanges among diverse worldviews, epochs and emotions of the indigenous spirit and its undying echoes enlivening the emergent and modern soul. It seeks to comprehend and expand upon the Bhakti movement, an important chapter in the social, political and literary history as far back as 12th century, in India, that of medieval mystic poets like Kabir, Gorakhnath, devout singers Meera, Sehjobai and others blooming from within the wretched of the earth and coming to form cogent dialogues across socio-philosophic fractures in an ancient landscape ravaged by history. Embarking upon a journey into the flux, the film finds within the zeitgeist, ancestral voices question and dismantle fatal stereotypes, those blind yardsticks of lopsided reason with which knowledge attempts to measure the past and present.
Format: DV PAL, 74 mins.
Language: Hindi/ Malwi Subtitled in English
Director: Rajula Shah
Camera: Rajula Shah, Gurvinder Singh
Editing: Arghya Basu Rajula Shah
Production: Jyotsna Milan for Seasongray
Screenings: World premiere at Dokfest ‘08, Munich l Parnu Ethnographic Film Festival ’09, Estonia l Doxa Film Festival ’09, Vancouver, Canada l Voices from the Fringe ’08, Amsterdam l Cinema Verite Iran International Documentary Festival ’08, Tehran l World Film Festival ’08, Bangkok l National Film Archive of India, Pune, India 2008 l Kerala International Video Festival’09. India l IAWRT-IIC Asia film festival ’08, New Delhi l Allaince Francaise, Mumbai, India 2009 l Mumbai International Film Festival, Mumbai 2010, DOK Leipzig, Germany 2011
“If you have looked around you in India, and confronted the deep—and structured—distress that constitutes everyday life for the vast majority of its people, and then wondered what it is that keeps human beings going, then Sabad Nirantar is a film that you may want to watch… more
-filmmaker Sanjay Kak in Open magazine.
Word Within the Word doesn’t romanticise Kabir’s followers. There is a tendency in liberal circles to view Kabir as a bridge between Hindi and Muslim folk traditions but Shah doesn’t treat her subjects as embodiments of India’s secular traditions. “Kabir’s poetry exists across time and space, and that is what I was interested in,” said 35-year-old Shah, who studied direction at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune.more
” ‘Clouds burst in the west, Raindrops fall to a rhythm, O wise one go tend your fields…’ An opening of a remarkable film….” more
-filmmaker Surabhi Sharma in Tehelka.
“Word Within the Word is a crucial gateway to the India we are fast forgetting, one that is difficult to classify and categorise but simpler to understand if you hear its people speak…“more
-filmmaker Deepa Dhanraj’s curatorial note for Doxa, Vancouver
“Rajula Shah’s UNSCRIPTED VERITÉ STYLE DOESN’T CLOSE DOORS ON FICTION…”Comment in Tehelka