Films A to Z

Papilio Buddha

108 min.
Year of Production:
David Briggs
Kallen Pokkudan
Saritha Sunil
Sreekumar SP
Production Company:
Silicon Media
Berlinale Section:
Berlinale Category:
Feature Film

We could be in paradise: Shankaran discovers a rare butterfly, the Papilio Buddha, which is only found in the Western Ghats in India. It is a near perfect moment for him and his gay friend, Jack. The American lepidopterist accompanies Shankaran home where he witnesses an argument between Shankaran and his father which he fails to understand – and not just because they are speaking Malayalam. His father is the leader of a group of Dalits, or low caste ‘untouchables’ who are engaged in a brutal struggle for land rights in many places in India. Although their rights have been enshrined in the constitution since independence, the police regard Dalits as terrorists. Shankaran is put behind bars and Jack is soon expelled from the country on account of his association with him. Shankaran’s dream of escaping to the USA ‘on butterfly wings’ would appear to be at an end. However, he refuses to surrender to the preordained life fate appears to have assigned him as a Dalit. Strikingly photographed, this film ignores political taboos to describe how a Dalit community struggles against suffocating tradition. Paradise becomes a war zone. And this stirring film takes a fearless stance.

BIOGRAFIE Jayan Cherian

Born in Kerala in India in 1966, he first studied at Hunter College in New York and, after graduating with honours, took up studies in film and creative writing at New York City College. He has made several successful short films which have screened at international festivals and won a number of prizes. He has also published four award-winning volumes of poetry. PAPILIO BUDDAH is his feature film debut.

FILMOGRAFIE Jayan Cherian (selection)

2016 Ka Bodyscapes  2013 Papilio Buddha  2010 Shape of the Shapeless  2008 Inner Silence of the Tumult 

Jayan Cherian IMDb
Interview with Jayan Cherian @YouTube

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