Nandita Das

Here’s to the crazy ones!

  • September 1, 2005

I attended The All Roads Film Festival of National Geographic in LA. I was amazed to see the stories that were told. They just kept coming back to me in different ways. The festival now travels to Washington DC and if you are in the vicinity, don’t miss it for anything at all.

Most of the films were about marginalized communities in the world and dealt with issues of identity. The thoughts that were shared on my previous post on “identity” stimulated my own thinking further and I couldn’t help but feel that the more we understand ourselves, the more confusing it gets.

I have often felt that identities create divisions and a false notion of the self.

The eternal question of “who am I” is being defined in so many ways in the times we are living in. I am defined by my nationality, my race, my religion. I am told I am part of this community and in war with that. I am made to feel wronged and therefore I am forced to defend myself against an imaginary enemy. I am told I am nothing without my “identity” and I am constantly being distracted from the real questions of life and the real search of finding myself. And yet watching these films and reflecting on the diversity and uniqueness of different cultures, different traditions, different ethnic groups, I was not just joyful but it also made me think about the relevance of reaffirming ones identity. Could we celebrate our differences and our sameness at the same time? I wonder if we can reconcile and find some balance in this dychotomy. We are unique, different, diverse and yet we share the same longings, the same dreams, the same desires for peace, happiness, love and a sense of belonging. In many ways, The All Roads Film Festival is doing just that; bringing us together as a global community and increasing our understanding of each other and of ourselves. Perhaps one day we will all feel we are just citizens of the world.

I know all this might sound a little too idealistic and perhaps even a bit crazy. But even judging by the comments and posts on this blog it’s obvious that I am not alone. I once heard someone say that the world is changed by those who are crazy enough to believe that they can do it. I am thrilled to add my voice to the crazy ones! Here’s to the crazy ones!

Virata Parvam


Director: Udugula Venu

Language: Telugu

Character Name: Shakuntala

Key Cast: Kundan Alexzed, Chakrapani Ananda, Banerjee

Feastivals and Awards: NA

Film Stills: 9

BTS: 11