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Cinema Rediscovered

Kummatty

Restored & Rediscovered

Dir: Govindan Aravindan, 1979, India, 90 mins, Cert: 15, Malayalam with English Subtitles

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Sat 27 July // 14:00

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“Aravindan was a visionary director and ‘Kummatty’ is considered among his greatest work.” Martin Scorsese

A delightful, musical magical realist fable through the heartlands of India that will have you dancing out of the cinema. 

This mystical fairy tale, rooted in Keralan folklore, is sometimes translated to The Boogeyman in English. Whilst that’s not an entirely inaccurate way to describe the Pied Piper-esque behaviour of the titular figure, it does a disservice to the strange, genteel spell he casts, somewhere between sinister and sweet. When Kummatty - a travelling troubadour-magician - arrives in a small rural village somewhere in central Kerala, a group of children become fascinated by him, his powers, and his songs. One day, he decides to turn them all into animals and disappears, onto the next village.

Govindan Aravindan, one of the great directors of Malayalam-Indian film and a cinematic chronicler of his home state of Kerala, was as softly-spoken as his films: hushed, lyrical, poetic depictions of life amongst the poor and marginalised. This restored version does full justice to his sumptuous use of colour and landscape, where the rolling hills and hazy sunsets become part of a much broader, cosmic, semi-mystical universe.

This event is presented by Diwas Dewan as part of Other Ways of Seeing, with the support of BFI awarding funding from National Lottery.

Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, The Film Heritage Foundation and Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory, in association with General Pictures and the family of Govindan Aravindan. Funding provided by the Material World Foundation.

13:30 - Doors open
14:00 - Screening starts (Runtime 1 hour 28 minutes) 

For more information of programs in the Cinema Rediscovered film festival, please visit www.watershed.co.uk/cinema-rediscovered-2024