An Alternate Course

A still from Counterfeit Kunkoo

Nothing justifies domestic abuse. A woman, vital in a low-income housing, realises this and separates from her husband. But does holding a convention-defying pierce acquit her? Can careful autonomy alone set her giveaway in a multitude that looks down on singular women? Reema Sengupta’s Counterfeit Kunkoo raises these questions as it follows Smita in her onslaught to find a roof over her conduct in Mumbai. The 15-minute novella plan is an central — and India’s usually — preference during Sundance Film Festival 2018. It will underline in a “International Narrative Shorts” foe territory of a festival that will be hold in Jan subsequent year.

Sengupta, a writer-director of a film, points out that her film starts where a emanate of domestic abuse in her protagonist’s life ends. “The contention on domestic abuse has been in a mainstream for a while though what happens when a woman, fed adult of abuse and marital rape, leaves that life behind? The film explores that journey,” says Sengupta.

Counterfeit Kunkoo is a story of a lady in her early thirties, who creates fabrication jewellery. The tiny business brings her adequate income to support herself and compensate rent. But she shortly finds that financial autonomy isn’t adequate and that a spook of her violent father follows her in a form of amicable prejudices. The extraordinary pretension derives from a Marathi jargon for vermilion — kunkoo. Sengupta, a owner of a prolongation residence CATNIP — a distinguished name in visible calm origination within a Indian indie song space — had a book for a film for 3 years. Earlier this year, she returned to a “passion project”. “This sold book is deeply personal and this year we motionless to concentration on it,” says a 27-year-old.

The film has been shot over 4 days opposite genuine locations in Mumbai’s slums and low-income housing, a claustrophobic spaces maybe apropos a embellishment for a character’s state of mind. Sengupta, however, says that a environment is conjunction a gimmick nor a absolved perspective of a belligerent reality. “I grew adult in a same environment and existence that Smita comes from. we lived with my relatives in some of a neighbourhoods where we have shot,” says Sengupta. Also, a judgment of a film borrows from her mother’s story who left her violent father during a age of 45 though couldn’t find a place to pierce into along with her immature daughter. Sengupta, afterwards 17, was study in London. “She was financially self-sufficient and a mom of a grown daughter. Yet she couldn’t find a residence since she didn’t have a ‘husband’,” she recounts. She adds that a similarities between Smita’s character, essayed by Kani Kusruti, and her mom finish here.

Making this film has been a cathartic routine for Sengupta, who says she incited to art so that she could channelise her annoy towards a abuse her mother, and infrequently she, suffered, in a right direction. “More than me, Smita’s impression has helped my mom know a complexities of her possess emotions… In sequence to tarry and make a best of what she had, she substantially didn’t get a possibility to routine it all,” she says.

For a film, Sengupta’s mom also took on a purpose of a producer. “She was a one who done it probable to fire in all these locations. My relatives were into genuine estate and they know brokers and genuine estate agents. Because of where she came from, she also knows how to understanding with middlemen and internal leaders in low-income housing neighbourhoods. This film literally wouldn’t have happened but her,”
says Sengupta.

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