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Rahul Rawail On Jallikattu Going To The Oscars

The  stunning Malayalam film  Jallikattu has been selected  as India’s official entry into the International film category in  the  Oscars.Visually  lush and emotionally jolting  Jallikattu  is in many ways representative  of  an aspect of   cultural annihiliation   that Indian cinema  seldom celebrates.

Rawail Rawail  who headed the  jury  of the Film Federation of India for the selection,   says, “After  viewing  many films in  many Indian languages we found Jallikattu to  satisfy all the requirements  for eligibility . It is  a film with deep  roots in our culture. But it  is  also  a universal story  on the dehumanization  of  mankind , when the beast within surfaces.In that sense it’s story that connects with every culture.It’s also technically very sophisticated.”

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Would  Rahul agree with  this writer in saying that some of  the best films in India are coming from  Kerala?

Avoiding any controversy Rahul quickly replies. “Of course Kerala is  making wonderful films. But so are many  other parts  of  the country  including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh , Assam . I see a   diversity of films being made all over India, and it’s  a heartening scenario.”

I draw  attention to  the awful films that were  up for eligibility as  India’s entry to the Oscars this year, like Shoojit Sircar’s  Gulabo Sitabo. Rahul  is quick to point out that any and every  film is entitled  to the jury’s consideration.

“Any  filmmaker can send  his film for consideration.It is  their right to do so. We are  within our rights to  select the  film we  think most worthy. And this year it  was  Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu.”

Every year India comes  back empty-handed from the Oscars. Last year it was Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy.  Rahul is hopeful  about this year. “We of the  jury saw the merits in  Jallikattu to make  it to Oscars. The rest  will depend on what the competition is.”

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