India. 2022. 109 min
Modan returns home after spending some years of the prime of his life in prison for a murder committed to avenge his father’s humiliation over land disputes. Acrimony with his brothers who have prospered in his absence, forces Modan to rebuild his life with his mother by shifting to the dilapidated ancestral home and by bringing home a wife who’s already a mother to an infant. Inspite of Modan’s honest attempts to forget the insults of the past, suppressed anger manifests itself in renewed violence.
Gurvinder Singh is an Indian film director. He is best known for his Punjabi language films Anhe Ghore Da Daan, and Chauthi Koot (The Fourth Direction) which premiered at Venice and Cannes Film Festival respectively. Gurvinder is an alumnus of the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune from where he studied film-making and graduated in 2001. He travelled extensively through Punjab between 2002 and 2006, living and traveling with folk itinerants, documenting folk ballads and oral narratives. It led to his first documentary ‘Pala’. He continued to make short experimental works and documenting arts/artists for the next few years. In 2005 he was invited by avant-garde Indian filmmaker Mani Kaul to be his teaching assistant for a master-class at FTII, which led to a close association with the filmmaker who became his mentor. He translated and published a book of conversations of Udayan Vajpeyi with Mani Kaul, titled ‘Uncloven Space’. His latest film is ‘Infiltrator’ starring Veer Rajwant Singh which is a 15-minute short story in an international omnibus called ‘In the same garden’.
Crescent Night is about a sadness on the verge of implosion that engulfs a silent agrarian land. Here is an unwritten violence, simmering under the surface, in which the margins are pushed afar into a breakdown of basic human relations. It is a violence that scripts the alienation of the being from its own selfhood. It is also about the last ditch resistance of the oppressed. Cinematically, for me, its the culmination of a journey that started with ‘Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan’, the tropes pared down to the bare essential, interiorised and a self-reflective form.