/ Presented as part of Filmatique's Foreign Language Oscar Submissions II Series //
Exclusive Interview with Deepak Rauniyar
Spotlight on White Sun
Deepak Rauniyar / 2016, Venice, Busan, Dubai, Fribourg, New Directors/New Films, Palm Springs, Rotterdam, Seattle, Singapore, Taiwan, Toronto, Vancouver / 89'
Chandra returns home to his the remote mountain village on the ridges of Annapurna following the death of his father, having joined Nepal's anti-regime Maoist forces nearly a decade before. Here he is confronted not only by his Royalist brother, Suraj, but the question of how to properly bury his father, whose body remains stuck in the attic of his home. Suraj and Chandra clash regarding the rigid caste and discriminatory gender traditions Chandra fought to eliminate during the war— Suraj storms off, abandoning his brother to deal with the burial rites. Under pressure from the village elders, Chandra seeks help from outside the village to find enough men to carry his father's body to the river for cremation.
Set against the stunning backdrop of the Nepali Himalayas, and exploring competing visions for a country suspended between tradition and modernity, its past and its future, White Sun weaves a powerful allegory for the cultural and political ideologies that continue to divide contemporary Nepal. Deepak Rauniyar's second feature premiered at Toronto, Rotterdam and Seattle; Venice, where it won Palm Springs, where it won the Interfilm Award; New Voices/New Visions Grand Jury Prize; Singapore, where it won Best Asian Feature; Fribourg, where it won the Audience Award and the Ecumenical Jury Award. It was selected as the only the ninth Nepali entry in history for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, but was not nominated.
"[A] delicately crafted examination of Nepal’s difficult rebirth after 20 years of war and unrest. Skillfully blending intimate human drama with sharp political observations, Deepak Rauniyar’s outstanding second feature sends a powerful message about the need for tolerance if Nepal is to overcome divisions that remain long after the Comprehensive Peace Accord of 2006"
- Richard Kuipers, Busan Review, Variety