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International Program

A Night of Knowing Nothing

A Night of Knowing Nothing

Payal Kapadia

Thursday Thu 23.06.202223.06.2216:00kult.kino atelier
Sunday Sun 26.06.202226.06.2214:30kult.kino atelier

Payal Kapadia

India 2021. 97 Min.
sw. Bengali, Hindi/ EN

Letters are found in a box at a film school in Mumbai. They are from film student L. to her lover K. and form the emotional framework for this exploration of untold injustices and youth activism in contemporary India. As L. reads out her letters, a situation at once specific and universal comes into being. Their relationship is intercaste and she is ultimately abandoned by K; the letters switch from being read out in Hindi to Bengali once they are no longer addressed to him. The despair of the growing political situation surrounds them.
After several shorts, this feature-length debut announces Payal Kapadia as one of the great poetic filmmakers of today. Neither pure documentary nor fiction, her collage-like filmic textures encompass newspaper cuttings, doodles, and old footage rendered in dreamy black-and-white 16 mm. Just as the film is not afraid to foreground darkness visually, silences appear as ellipses, with these absences speaking to so much with considerable urgency. Among it all are perforations of light, the strength of the protesting students providing hope and solidarity. Ultimately the film is a devoted tribute to cinema, filmmaking, and the resilience of those dedicating their lives to it. 

(Viennale Katalog/Michelle Carey)

CREDITS

DirectorPayal Kapadia
ScreenplayPayal Kapadia, Himanshu Prajapati
CinematographyRanabir Das
EditingRanabir Das
SoundMoinak Bose, Romain Ozanne
ProducerRanabir Das Julien Graff Thomas Hakim
Production CompanyPetit Chaos, Another Birth
World SalesSquare Eyes

Payal Kapadia

Payal Kapadia is a Mumbai based filmmaker and artist. She studied Film Direction at the Film & Television Institute of India. Her short films Afternoon Clouds (2017) and And What Is The Summer Saying (2018) premiered respectively at the Cinéfondation and the Berlinale. She is a Berlinale Talents alumna and participated in 2019 at the Cinéfondation – Résidence du Festival de Cannes. Her first feature, A Night Of Knowing Nothing, was slected for Director’s Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival 2021 where it won the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) award for best Documentary. She is currently preparing her next project, All We Imagine As Light, which received support from CICLIC, Huberts Bals Fun & PJLF Arts Fund.