The Forsaken Land
Locarno Open Doors
The Locarno International Film Festival's Open Doors initiative is designed to discover and support emerging voices from regions where independent filmmaking is vulnerable. Comprised of the Open Doors Hub, Lab, and Screenings for selected projects, the 2016-2018 edition of the program focuses on new talents in Southeast Asia.
As part of its Locarno Open Doors series, and in collaboration with the Locarno International Film Festival, Filmatique presents five films that have participated in Open Doors— Highway, Under Construction, The Monk, The Forsaken Land, and 28.
Deepak Rauniyar's debut feature, Highway, offers a kaleidoscope lens into Nepali society by chronicling the lives of passengers aboard a bus from Darjeeling to Kathmandu. Controversial Bangladeshi filmmaker Rubaiyat Hossain confronts religious fundamentalism and the vicissitudes of patriarchy in her second feature, Under Construction, while Burmese filmmaker Maw Naing's The Monk examines a young man's crisis of faith deep in the countryside of Myanmar. Two disparate portraits of contemporary Sri Lanka— Prasanna Jayakody's 28 and Vimukthi Jayasundara's The Forsaken Land— reflect upon the nature of violence and the fractured identity of a war-torn nation. 28 chronicles one man's poetic journey through sublime landscapes as he comes into communion with his dead wife, while The Forsaken Land portrays two military men tasked with performing a duty whose purpose they've forgotten. The Forsaken Land won Cannes' coveted Camera d'Or for Best First Film.
Ultimately, these films paint a picture of life inside several hermetic South Asian nations, serving moreover as testaments to cinema as balm for collective experiences of hardship, violence, poverty, corruption and war.
NEW! You can watch a selection of nine short films, for free, from the 2016 and 2017 editions of Locarno Open Doors. Watch here!