Scribbles on Akka

Director: Madhusree Dutta
English (subtitled), 58 min, 2000, India
A musical documentary on the 12th century saint-poet Mahadevi Akka.
Scribbles on Akka
A still from Scribbles on Akka

In this short film on the life and work of the 12th century saint-poet, Mahadevi Akka, her radical poems, written with the female body as a metaphor, have been composed and picturised in contemporary musical language. Mahadevi, framed as Akka – elder sister, while leaving the domestic arena in search of God also abandoned modesty and clothing. The film explores the meaning of this denial through the work of contemporary artists and writers and testimonies of ordinary folk who nurtured her image through centuries in their folklore and oral literature. A celebration of rebellion, femininity and legacy down nine hundred years.

Producer: Majlis
Director: Madhusree Dutta
Camera: Avijit Mukul Kishore, R.V. Ramani
Editing: P. Resul
Sound: Shyamal Karmakar
Music: Ilayaraja, Shantanu Maitra
Cast: Seema Biswas, Haresh Khanna, Sabitri Heisnam
  • National Award for best anthropological film
  • Best script award at the Shanghai film festival
  • Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA) Award
About the Director:

Madhusree is a filmmaker; also a curator, pedagogue, researcher, producer and activist. Though visual culture is the key to her works, multi-disciplinary initiatives and multi-layered representations frame her myriad engagements. An alumni of Jadavpur University, Kolkata and National School of Drama, New Delhi, she currently lives in Mumbai.

Madhusree is the founder and Executive Director of Majlis, a centre for rights discourse and multicultural art initiatives in Mumbai, India. A winner of several national and international awards for her films, she has also received citizens' honours, such as the Salaam Mumbai award, Bharat Nirman award and Stree Shakti Sanman.

Posted by Magic Lantern Foundation on April 29, 2017

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