“Court” selected for Film Society of Lincoln Center’s
44th edition of New Directors/New Films (March 18-29)
The Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center today announced the initial nine official selections for the 44th edition of New Directors/New Films (ND/NF), a festival dedicated to the discovery of new works by emerging and dynamic filmmaking talent.
Representing 11 countries from around the world, the initial nine selections are Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court (India), Charles Poekel’s Christmas, Again (USA), , Rick Alverson’s Entertainment (USA), Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s Goodnight Mommy (Austria), Sarah Leonor’s The Great Man (France), Nadav Lapid’s The Kindergarten Teacher (Israel/France), Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb (Jordan/Qatar/United Arab Emirates/UK), Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe (Ukraine), and Kornél Mundruczó’s White God (Hungary).
Winner of numerous prizes at film festivals, including the Luigi De Laurentiis Award and the Venice Horizons Award at the Venice Film Festival, Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court is a devastating exploration of a kangaroo court process railroading an aging folk singer. Another multiple prizewinner is Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb. Winner of the Jury Prize for Best Cinematography and Art Direction at the Cairo International Film Festival, Best Directorial Debut at Camerimage, and the Venice Horizons Award for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival, the film is a coming-of-age story of a young Bedouin boy as he guides a British officer through harsh territory.
Vira Sathidar in the film 'Court'
Chaitanya Tamhane, India, 2014, 116 mins
Marathi, Gujarati, and Hindi with English subtitles
Winner of top prizes at the Venice and Mumbai Film Festivals, Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court is a quietly devastating, 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 trumped-up charge of inciting a sewage worker to commit suicide. His trial is a ridiculous and harrowing display of institutional incompetence, with endless procedural delays, coached witnesses for the prosecution, and obsessive privileging of arcane colonial law over reason and mercy. What truly distinguishes Court, however, is Tamhane’s brilliant ensemble cast of professional and nonprofessional actors; his affecting mixture of comedy and tragedy; and his naturalist approach to his characters and to Indian society as a whole, rich with complexity and contradiction.