News  ·  13 | 08 | 2021

Shankar’s Fairies

Irfana Majumdar | Concorso Cineasti del presente

We spend the first part of our life discovering the world through our innocent perception and adult instruction. And yet cinema, that relies so much on perception and narratives, often does notlook back at those formative years and embrace a child’s points of view as they wake up to life, other than in children’s films.

Irfana Majumdar’s début feature fiction, Shankar's Flowers, offers a beautiful exception, with a sensitive tale of tales, a story of listening to stories and learning to see beyond them. Producer and screenwriter Nita Kumar, who happens to be Majumdar’s mother, wrote about her own childhood in the same house where the film was shot. In the comfort of her loving and progressive family home, Anjana is pampered by the sincerely devoted Shankar, who is there to meet her every need and to entertain both her and her little brother with his endless trove of stories. But as she observes the world outside her fenced haven, and as tragedy hits Shankar’s family, she gradually awakens to reality: the man who makes life so easy, beautiful, and full of fantasy is a servant whose polite smile conceals his own truth in a stratified society. And what she regards as normal is the privilege she was born into, but very few enjoy. Certainly not the daughter that Shankar left behind in the countryside to serve her.

Pamela Biénzobas