Above Image from original ‘Samskara’ brochure, designed by S.G.Vasudev

27th November | Wednesday | 11pm, 2pm, 6.30pm | 113mins | Badami House

Directed by Pattabhirama Reddy 
India 1970 35mm archival print 113min

Samskara (funeral Rites) is the story of a rebel Brahmin who throughout his life has violated the basic laws of his caste. He has taken meat, he has desecrated the temple; and suddenly he dies. Can he be cremated? Has he the right to a decent Brahmin funeral? The villagers meet, take sides, and Praneshacharya , their leader, is given the responsibility of taking the decision. The film concerns itelf with his torments, his nagging doubts. What man has the right to judge another? Who of us is without sin?

Shot entirely on location in a mountain village in Mysore, with a cast of unknown players, Samskara is directed by Pattabhi Rama Reddy, himself a well-known poet and producer of Telugu films. For him, the film represents a complete breakaway from the florrid sentimentality of traditional south Indian films, and is more in the tradition of Satyajit Ray.

The film based on a story by U.R. Ananthamurthy, by the same name, brought together many artists like theatre actor Snehalata Reddy, writer, P. Lankesh, artist S.G. Vasudev and Girish Karnad. Directed by Pattabhirama Reddy, it pioneered the parallel cinema movement in Kannada. The film won the National Award for Best Feature film in 1970 and the Bronze Leopard at Locarno International film festival in 1972. This is a special 35mm print found at the Arsenal archive in Berlin, Germany, presented at Experimenta courtesy Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan. Some of the screenings will be followed with interactions with U.R. Ananthamurthy, Konarak Reddy (son of Pattabhi Rama Reddy), Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Director of the Living Archive Programme at Arsenal Institut of Film & Video Art.

Dr.U.R. Ananthamurthy speaks at the screening of ‘SAMSKARA’