Kisaan: A Film About Farmer Suicides?

pun3.jpgWhile I do value the role films play in telling stories, I wonder if at times it can do more harm than good. I recently heard about a new bollywood movie called Kisaan and had the opportunity to watch it last night. I had been told the movie was about farmer suicides in punjab and while i was aware it was a bollywood production, I definitely made time to watch it as it is such an important issue.

The movie touched upon issues such as the roleilliteracyand dowry play in the lives of farmers – the reality of poverty overpowered by the hope of prosperity. These are important issues and should be discussed. Films are an important tool to utilize in order to raise awareness about such issues.

Suffice it to say, Kisaan is a bollywood production and is distracted by it’scommitmentto bollywood requirements. I can’t say i wasn’tdisappointed- this is such an important issue which needs to be explored. While i commend the director forattemptingto raise the issue, i do question if this genre of film was the best vehicle for it. The issue was so entangled in the film, mixed in with songs and awkward jokes, that i can’t imagine how serious the issue will be taken.

Since bollywood plays such a large role in the lives of many in India (and outside of India) – the hope is that this film will at least bring the issue of farmer suicide to the dinner table; perhaps dialogues will be spurred andawarenesswill be raised. The bigger question, however, is how our community will take a more active role in documenting the issue of farmer suicides in India. With the growth of film festivals and aspiring film makers in our community – perhaps this project will soon surface.

[Side note: the image above is NOT from the film].


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9 Responses to “Kisaan: A Film About Farmer Suicides?”

  1. KayJ Singh says:

    very well written article…Concise but do the point…havent been able to watch the movie…but now certainly will…but its good that we atleast have people talking about it….

  2. KayJ Singh says:

    very well written article…Concise but do the point…havent been able to watch the movie…but now certainly will…but its good that we atleast have people talking about it….

  3. Roger Mangat says:

    Read the above article,sad to say I was not immpresed by it.Bollywood movies never do justice to any subject,for the reason that,they represent fiction and other vested intrests.Why do people commit suicide,it is a very serious matter.Whether the person is a farmer or not is irrelevant,it is the thinking to take an easy way out,of an un managable situation.A person must really despise life to commit this act.If enough psyclogical help was available,maybe some of these suicides could be prevented.Also people who survive should be prosecuted to the full extent of the prevailing laws.

  4. Roger Mangat says:

    Read the above article,sad to say I was not immpresed by it.Bollywood movies never do justice to any subject,for the reason that,they represent fiction and other vested intrests.Why do people commit suicide,it is a very serious matter.Whether the person is a farmer or not is irrelevant,it is the thinking to take an easy way out,of an un managable situation.A person must really despise life to commit this act.If enough psyclogical help was available,maybe some of these suicides could be prevented.Also people who survive should be prosecuted to the full extent of the prevailing laws.

  5. Tajinder says:

    I just recently watched the film myself, I believe it was a great idea by the film maker to bring this subject some light. What I noticed in the film was though a twist to the suicides the film maker blamed it all on not so much self induced suicides rather murders by industrialist to look like suicides this was interesting. Not only were industrialists in the film directly killing but also placing them under dept which eventually lead to suicide this part I think the film did not do a good job of covering.

  6. Tajinder says:

    I just recently watched the film myself, I believe it was a great idea by the film maker to bring this subject some light. What I noticed in the film was though a twist to the suicides the film maker blamed it all on not so much self induced suicides rather murders by industrialist to look like suicides this was interesting. Not only were industrialists in the film directly killing but also placing them under dept which eventually lead to suicide this part I think the film did not do a good job of covering.

  7. This was such a daft movie and I don't agree that Bollywood is incapable of bringing about serious issues simply because it's Bollywood. Look at Bazaar and Mandi, two incredibly powerful films about the plight of prositutes; Khamoshi with Naseerudin Shah, and relatively recently Taare Zameen Par about dyslexia. Bollywood is more than capable of producing quality films. The problem is not that they cannot, the problem is that they do not. This film is not about farmer suicides. It is a film about peace loving Sikh village folk (unless you cross them, then they become vicious and have no qualms about murder). One just really badly written, badly acted, and doesn't really say much at all about the plight of farmers. Every single character in this film is a stereotype; there is no depth to any of the characters. And what the hell is up with the mangled punjabi/hindi?

  8. This was such a daft movie and I don't agree that Bollywood is incapable of bringing about serious issues simply because it's Bollywood. Look at Bazaar and Mandi, two incredibly powerful films about the plight of prositutes; Khamoshi with Naseerudin Shah, and relatively recently Taare Zameen Par about dyslexia. Bollywood is more than capable of producing quality films. The problem is not that they cannot, the problem is that they do not. This film is not about farmer suicides. It is a film about peace loving Sikh village folk (unless you cross them, then they become vicious and have no qualms about murder). One just really badly written, badly acted, and doesn't really say much at all about the plight of farmers. Every single character in this film is a stereotype; there is no depth to any of the characters. And what the hell is up with the mangled punjabi/hindi?

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