The filmmaker’s 200-year-old ancestral house in a remote village in Karnataka, India is dismantled, giving an opportunity for him to undertake a journey into a past that he shares not only with his extended family, but also with successive generations of India’s rural population. A realisation of the inevitability of a transition marks this journey that could well be the journey of a country that has propelled itself into modernity. As plans are on for the house to get reconstructed elsewhere in an open air museum, out of its original context – the fossilisation seems to be complete.
About the Director
Hailing from the temple town of Udupi in Coastal Karnataka in South India, Ramchandra PN is a 1991 film graduate from FTII, Poona. Presently based in Mumbai, he makes feature films, documentaries and TV shows. He has produced and directed many documentaries for the Films Division, UNDP, UNESCO and other organisations; as well as for the Indian TV Serial Surabhi. His programmes have been broadcast in the BBC, Pogo, Doordarshan, ETV, UK Community and other TV Channels. He is also occasionally involved in film academics, having conducted workshops in prestigious Film Schools like FTII and LV Prasad Film Institute.
When I recorded the dismantling of my ancestral house in 2001, filmmaking had never been more democratic, thanks to the digital revolution. Lack of institutional funding ensured that it took more than eight years to make this film; the completion of which coincided with the expiry of my father. For me, it was a completion of the past; all that the house in Miyar stood for – the death of the quintessential village life, the game changing education system that the British brought with them, the urban migration and a possibility of a level playing field in a caste ridden society.