“Merku Thodarchi Malai” had its International Premiere at the 17th annual New York Indian Film Festival this past Friday night and was received with great appreciation by a multicultural audience in Manhattan’s East Village theatre.
The film, which was directed by Lenin Bharathi and produced by Makkal Selvan Vijay Sethupathi, focuses on the landless labor class living on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The film moved many audience members to tears and created much curiosity amongst them to learn more about how globalization affects the rural areas of South India.
Following the screening director Lenin, who was present in New York for the festival, participated in a lively question & answer session with festival programmer Giri Mohan Coneti.
The audience was fascinated by the film’s ensemble cast, who were mostly comprised of non-actors, and the film’s breathtaking cinematography.
Many also inquired about director Lenin’s upbringing in Theni district and how his father’s political career inspired his own filmmaking. Kathy Sanson, an instructor at the Boricua College in New York who has travelled to Kerala before was all praise for Lenin’s touching piece of work:
“This film is extremely important because it’s a reality that is never shown; it really puts into context what is happening in many other parts of India for farmers and laborers, as well as the difficulty of laboring class people all over the world”.