Partners in Crime

Director: Paromita Vohra
English (subtitled), 94 min, 2011, India
A rollicking trip through the grey worlds of copyright, art and the market in a story about love, money and crime.
Partners in Crime
A still from Partners in Crime

Is piracy organized crime or class struggle? Are alternative artists who want to hold rights over their art and go it alone in the market, visionaries or nutcases? Is the fine line between plagiarism and inspiration a cop-out or a whole other way of looking at the fluid nature of authorship? Who owns a song – the person who made it or the person who paid for it? When more than three fourths of those with an internet connection download all sorts of material for free, are they living out a brand new cultural freedom – or are they criminals?

Full of wicked irony, great music and thorny questions Partners in Crime explores the grey horizons of copyright and culture during times when technology is changing the contours of the market.

Metal heads who market their own music, folklorists who turn tribal aphorisms into short stories, music archivists who hoard and share everything they can get their hands on, anti-piracy fanatics who think piracy funds terrorism, a smooth talking DVD street salesman who outlines the efficiency of the illegal market, media moguls, lobbyists, “monetizers, downloaders, uploaders, the biggest hit song of 2010 and the small time nautanki singer whose song it was inspired by – these places and people throng the world’s bazaar in which the film is set. Partners in Crime takes you through a story about art, crime, love and money to check if the times, they may be a-changing after all.

FEATURING: Vijay Dandetha, Thermal and a Quarter, Lawrence Liang, Demonic Resurrection, Pete Lockett,, Scribe, Rampat Harami & Rani Bala, Ram Sampat, Jumma Khan, Irfan of Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya, and many others.

Producer: Magic Lantern Foundation
Director: Paromita Vohra
Camera: Shanti Bhushan, Bakul Sharma
Editing: Rikhav Desai
Sound: Asheesh Pandya, Chris Burchell, Gissy Michael
About the Director:

Paromita Vohra is a documentary filmmaker and screenwriter based in Mumbai whose films explore issues of politics, feminism, culture and desire. Some of her celebrated films are ‘Morality TV and the Loving Jehad: A Thrilling Tale’, 'Q2P', 'Un-limited Girls', 'Where’s Sandra?', ‘Cosmopolis: Two Tales of a City’ and 'A Woman’s Place'. She is also scriptwriter of 'Khamosh Pani' (directed by Sabiha Sumar) which won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival in 2003; 'A Few Things I Know About Her' (directed by Anjali Panjabi) which won the Silver Conch at the MIFF 2002; and 'Skin Deep' (directed by Reena Mohan). She is currently working on a book about love in contemporary India. Her latest film is 'Partners in Crime'.

Posted by Magic Lantern Foundation on April 29, 2017

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