THE CHARACTER, 2011
Duration: 22 minutes, 57 seconds
In the context of exhibitions, THE CHARACTER is shown on a vertically mounted plasma display.
Fifteen children were each asked to watch a Bollywood movie prominently featuring a child character. During the shoot that followed, each child was asked to verbally portray the child character in the movie that s/he had watched, to describe the role and plight of that character within the movie's narrative.
As they evoke fifteen fictional children from well-known Bollywood movies, the fifteen children portrayed in THE CHARACTER offer a range of insights into the role played by 'the child' (as character and spectator) in mainstream Indian cinema. It becomes apparent that their own values, views of the world and attitudes to life are at times closely related to those celebrated on screen. The children discuss their dreams and priorities in relation to those of the fictional children, their philosophies regarding persevering in life against all odds, and the importance of happy endings.
The edit avoids specific reference to particular movies or particular characters, instead weaving the fifteen interviews into a composite portrait of 'the child' within the Bollywood imaginary, as told with the input of fifteen young Mumbaikar cinemagoers.
Director + Editor: Candice Breitz
Camera + Lighting: Avijit Mukul Kishore
Sound Recordist: Anita Kushwaha
Post Production: Alex Fahl
Interviewees: Anushek Prasal, Archita Jha, Atharva Sunil, Eepsita Gupta, Kanchi Ketan Mehta, Kunal Vinay Nadkarni, Mihir Mukesh Mangaonkar, Nainisha Mehta, Pradnya Nirgun, Pranshu Parimal Rajurkar, Prithvi S. Trivedi, Sahiba Kaur, Tanushree Mehta, Vallaree Vinay Raut, Vinit Mekala.
Location: Gundecha Education Academy, Kandivali East, Mumbai.
Commissioned by European Media Art Festival Osnabrück (EMAF)
with the support of The Culture Programme 2007-2013 of the European Union
Additional information available upon request: candicebreitz.net