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At Kerala documentary fest, journeys into hell, the soul and the imagination

The International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala has returned as an in-person event after coronavirus-induced delays. The 13th edition will be held in Thiruvananthapuram between December 9 and 14.

The festival will open with Mai Masri’s Beirut: Eye of the Storm. The Arabic-language documentary examines the recent political, social and economic tumult in Lebanon through four young women artists.

The programme includes nine Malayalam short films dedicated to the continuing effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the way we live, work and communicate. The section titled Surveillance and Control includes French filmmaker Eleonore Weber’s There Will Be No More Night, which draws from video recordings made by American and French troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

The noteworthy titles include Kristina Lindstrom’s The Most Beautiful Boy in the World, a profile of the teenaged lead actor from Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice (1971). Irene Gutierrez Torres’s Between Dog and Wolf revisits the spirit of the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s by following three former combatants who continue to wear their uniforms decades later.

Among the Indian films is Rafiq Elias’s If Memory Serves Me Right, a tribute to the deceased film critic Rashid Irani. The film rewinds to the roots of Irani’s cinephilia and his intimate engagement with the Mumbai neighbourhood…

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