Thirteen short films, seven South Asian countries involved (Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar), one common goal: to portray the human condition in a world that is changing. Sometimes too fast, sometimes not enough.
Our contemporary contradictions are shown in different ways, through realism and metaphors. Or both, like in the Nepalese film Dadyaa: The Woodpeckers of Rotha by Pooja Gurung and Bibhusan Basnet. The directors achieve a stunning balance between emotional depth and wilderness’ beauty, telling the story of two human beings who refuse to surrender to loneliness after their village has been progressively abandoned. The Pakistani film Dia by Hamza Bangash is very powerful, absolutely crystal clear in portraying the frustration of a young woman in a society that wants her to be confined in castrating roles as a daughter, housekeeper, and wife of a man she doesn’t want. The screenplay develops a character who, scene by scene, descends into an ordinary nightmare, unable to escape the cage built for her by the environment she lives in. The Nepalese and Taiwanian Supermonk, by Shenang Gyamjo Tamang, is poetic and definitely more mainstream: the story of a young disciple obsessed by movie heroes who learns to be a kind human being, a quality that can connect people much more than using a gun…Adriano Ercolani