Chronicle Sitges 2018: “Tumbbad” in the bowels of the story
Responsible for opening the Critics’ Week at the recent Mostra of Venice, the Hindu “Tumbbad” arrives in Sitges to print a good dose of exoticism to the Official Section. The debut of the duo formed by Rahil Barve and Adesh Prasad is an unusual mixture of folk horror and moral tale wrapped in a haunting atmosphere and also marked by historical and political denunciation.
What is it?
India, in the nineteenth century. Vinayak is the bastard son of the cacique of a decrepit town called Tumbbad. The young man is obsessed with finding a mythical treasure buried in the vicinity of the village; the search will take you to meet witches and fallen gods, in an epic and fabulous story that expands over the decades.
Rahil Barve was very successful with his short film “Manjha” (2008). Adesh Prasad is co-founder of the Little Town Films production company. For both, “Tumbbad” is his debut in the direction.
What is it?
Tarsem Singh + the Brothers Grimm
What does it offer?
A visionary parable fabulesca, luck of sensory moral tale about greed that is articulated on the road between reality and fantasy, between political and historical reflection, between tradition and modernism. And the enjoyable and very vindicable “Tumbbad” plunges us headfirst into a world where all the extremes of life are found, where the ordinary collides with the extraordinary, the brutal with the pleasant. Through the bewitching universe that he creates, deeply rooted in India’s own history, he speaks of the contradictions that mark the Westernization of a country marked by colonialism and per se, by the consequences that shake the post-colonial era.
It is under this ambitious premise that Rail Barve and Adesh Prasad exorcise the stigmas that have mainly shaken their own people, those that have caused their ruin and destruction from within. The idealism and the absence of values (personal as well as social) corrupted by the desire for wealth or the vindication of a demolished cultural base, are some of its main plot lines, those that precisely immerse us, never better, in the bowels of This scary tale. If we add to this its unique formal device, the craftsmanship and the affection with which it weaves and sews its magnetic and chilling imaginary, of course we are facing another of the most gratifying discoveries that the Official Section of the Sitges Festival has given us.