Author: Akshita Nagpal

I am working as Assistant Producer in 'Chase', a YouTube channel for short documentaries run by Newslaundry and Scoopwhoop. I was previously employed with CREA, a third wave feminist human rights organisation for visual and textual documentation of their programmes and initiatives. I am a graduate in Mass Communication from A.J.K Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia and have previously contributed reports and write ups to The Caravan magazine, Deccan Herald, The Hindu, Kafila and Countercurrents by way of freelance work and internships. I am currently based out of New Delhi.

September 3, 2016 /

Uneasiness and fear percolate from every pore of the visuals crafted by cinematographer Satya Rai Nagpaul and stay for uncomfortably long spans, making one feel as if the plot progression is happening in real time. There are other times when the camera wakes up as if from a manic dream and switches to fast pans. A good volume of the narrative is unfolded in what is not seen on screen. Violence and the bloodied armed strife is always a pervasive presence in its visible absence. Designed with minimalistic background music, Chauthi Koot carries forward these stylistic elements from Gurvinder Singh’s previous film Anhe Ghode Da Daan(Alms For A Blind Horse) that projected an unnervingly drab Punjab of the Dalits of Punjab’s Malwa who, till this day, work as seeri or bonded agricultural labourers on the fields of land- owning Jatt sikhs. In both films, the filmmaker is able to carve out a Punjab that is an antithesis of the vibrant and ever celebratory image of Punjab that one is used to witness in popular culture and Bollywood cinema.