Here’s what I watched at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival on day 5!

Aishwarya Srinivasan
New Update
Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival

I’m half way through the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival and day 5 brings two films from the World Cinema category that are completely different in nature but have women at the center of it all!

Do Not Expect Too Much From The End Of The World

Directed by: Radu Jude

Starring: Illinca Manolache, Nina Hoss, Dorina Lazar

Duration: 163 Mins

Country: Croatia, France, Luxembourg, Romani

Do not expect too much from the end of the world revolves around Angela (Illinca Manolache) an extremely overworked and barely paid production assistant who has to shoot a workplace safety video for a multinational company. Angela has absolutely no filter. She says what she thinks. She is bold but has her heart in the right place too. But above it all she is crazy. The more the story unfolds the more you realize the things she is capable of doing. For instance, she also plays this character on her Instagram page with a beard filter on. She is basically trying to make fun of every guy ever; talking about sex and women very grossly, burping on camera and pretty much blurting out anything that would make heads turn in a room. The whole movie is just a day in her offbeat and unconventional life. But one of the biggest issues of the film is its duration. 2 hours 45 minutes is too long of a time to show a day in the life of literally anybody. 

Not just that, half the movie is in black and white and some of it is in color. But there’s no specific reason behind that. Then there’s the abrupt editing. A scene suddenly is zoomed in, pixelated and in slow motion which adds to making it feel more dragged than it already does. And there are so many scenes of her just driving from one place to another, it's almost as if we as an audience wouldn’t understand how she reached a place without these scenes. Do Not Expect Too Much From The End Of The World is also an honest take at the ruthless things big companies do like literally emptying a graveyard to build something new on it, or how they cut down forests and lie to us about their environmental work and charity for the poor. But it is all weaved up in dry humor which might not be everyone’s cup of tea! It works in parts but mostly is what its title suggests - do not expect too much from it! It almost feels like abstract art, it’s open to interpretation and is subjective to what each person wants to take out of it.

Also Read: All India Rank review: Varun Grover’s slice of life story is funny, relatable and filled with 90s pop culture references!

God is a Woman

Directed by: Andres Pyrot

Duration: 85 Mins

Country: France, Panama, Switzerland

God is a Woman is based on Panama’s Kuna community residing in the San Blas Islands. To put it in simple terms, this is a documentary about another documentary that finally reaches its subjects. Late French filmmaker Pierre Dominique Gaisseau along with his wife Kyoko and young daughter Akiko, lived a year with the Kuna community filming them. But when the project ran out of money, the bank took possession of all the footage. This might not be a big deal for Dominique but the people of the Kuna community really wanted to see the film that featured all of their very personal stories. But almost half a century passed and the longing to watch the film became a folklore that was narrated to generations. Until Pyrot comes as another ray of hope who could help them find that footage. The documentary was donated to the Panamanian Ministry of Culture in 2010 but was misplaced. But Gaisseau’s wife finds more footage at a family friend’s house and passes it on to them. 

Comparing Gaisseau and Pyrot’s films shows the Kuna community back then and now. But what still remains is that it's a matriarchal society. Women make all the important decisions and pretty much run everything there. Gaisseau’s film is more around the women of the community, their unique culture and Pyrot’s is interviewing all the local men there. Some scenes of violence between the people of Kuna and the military are pretty heavy to look at. The ending is the best part of the documentary though. When the Kuna community finally gathers to look at the footage they’ve wished for since decades, it’s a pivotal moment. They have tears in their eyes as most people they see on-screen are people who are now just a part of their memory. Or to make it look more artistic and emotional, Pyrot projects certain scenes that have people in the previous documentary and this one over their faces. It's a way to show how they have grown through it all. Documentaries can be confusing as there’s no fixed storyline that’s followed and this happened to me during most of the film until the climax put all the pieces together. 

Both the films had their Indian premiere at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival this year!

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God Is A Woman Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival Do Not Expect Too Much From The End of The World Illinca Manolache Radu Jude Andres Pyrot Pierre Dominique Gaisseau Kuna Community