As we mark 70 years since the Partition of India, we take a look at the legacy of colonialism through the Indian justice system, with this Winner of Best Feature Film at the National Film Awards.
Court is a funny and understated depiction of the trial of an ageing folk singer, facing the absurd accusation of having performed an inflamatory song that may have incited the suicide of a sewage worker.
Inspired by the incarceration of a musician and activist wrongfully accused of taking part in the Chilkari massacre in 2007, director Chaitanya Tamhane won the Lion of the Future award at the Venice Film Festival for this quiet critique of India's pernicious sedition law, introduced by the British during the independence struggle and revived under today's Hindu nationalist government.
Mayur Suresh, anti-terror law expert at SOAS, will give an introductory talk to accompany the screening. Dr Suresh specializes in terrorism cases in Delhi’s trial courts. Previously, he practised law in Delhi, and was a part of the legal team in the Naz Foundation case that successfully challenged India’s anti-homosexuality law in the Delhi High Court, and which was defended in the Supreme Court.
Praise for Court
Sardonic delight: Chaitanya Tamhane’s funny-cautionary picture of justice at work in Mumbai, is a Robert Altmanish human comedy
a masterpiece: one of the best films of the year
Tamane and his team deserve a place at the high table of international cinema
Sight & Sound