Coral Woman At The International Kids Film Festival Is A Persuasive Environmental Documentary That Balances Beauty With Alarm

Director: Priya Thuvassery
Producer and Commissioning Editor: Rajiv Mehrotra 

Uma Mani, an artist, noticed a documentary on the gradual desecration of corals and was moved to hunt out this underwater graveyard on the age of 49. As we speak, she is a scuba diver, and the eponymous documentary Coral Girl begins together with her voiceover, as her physique cuts via the clear blue waters, rocking round like a ‘thaal-attam’, a lullaby, amidst the riot of colors and shapes. 

However then, twenty minutes later, when she is proven diving into the water once more, on the Gulf of Mannar off the coast of Tamil Nadu, the water is cloudy, the corals are bleached and the fish are usually not almost as plentiful. One thing is rotten, and Priya Thuvassery weaves on this abjection with the roiling politics of the time- the killing of 13 protestors combating in opposition to the Sterlite copper smelting plant in Tuticorin in 2018. It’s vegetation like these that contribute to the rising temperatures of the water, killing the underwater ecosystem, and the corals that are delicate to warmth, but additionally trigger the stark enhance in incidence of most cancers among the many close by households. 

The gaze of the 50 minute movie is totally sympathetic to Uma Mani, maybe as a result of it sees no purpose to be important. She lives together with her son, and her canine, Bhairav, who sits by patiently whereas she paints the corals, in Kodaikanal. This documentary makes a really clear level albeit not so directly- that environmentalism is inherently political, anti-industry, and when push involves shove, even anti-government. It’s persuasive in its factors which might be typically raised in on-screen texts that first present the alarming statistics earlier than furnishing the context to the statistic. It’s alarmist, but additionally hopeful as seen within the final dive proven within the film- the place Uma beckons to Priya who is usually heard asking questions in the course of the movie. And it’s between these three dives- the primary of magnificence, the second of abjection, and third of hope- that the message of the movie meanders. When Uma first dives underwater, after loads of hesitation and agitation, she realizes that corals are additionally houses to fish who hover round close by, utilizing it as a sanctuary or a hideout. She goes again to her older work of corals, bereft of fish, and provides the creatures to it- one after the other, stroke by stroke. If solely actuality have been that easy too. 

The Worldwide Youngsters Movie Competition, that’s operating from November 20th – December 20th is the world’s largest on-line kids’s movie pageant, with over 150+ motion pictures, from 40 nations in 25 languages. You’ll be able to take a look at the movie pageant’s catalogue here– the movies obtainable embody Natkhat starring Vidya Balan. Movie age classes embody – Under 7, 7+, 10+, 13+ and a particular class for Mother and father & Educators.

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