Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane
Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court is an absurdist portrait of injustice, caste prejudice, and venal politics in contemporary India. An elderly folk singer and grassroots organizer dubbed the “people’s poet,” is arrested on a charge of inciting a sewage worker to commit suicide. His trial is a display of institutional incompetence, procedural delays, and the privileging of arcane colonial law over reason and mercy. What truly distinguishes Court, however, is Tamhane’s affecting mixture of comedy and tragedy as well as his naturalist approach to Indian society as a whole, a society rich with complexity and contradiction.