Swarnavel Eswaran | Kattumaram (Catamaran): A screening followed by discussion


Thu Feb 23 2023 at 05:00 pm to 07:00 pm


Institute for South Asia Studies | Berkeley, CA

The Institute and [email protected], a campaign to broaden and deepen Tamil related research, teaching and programming at UC Berkeley, invite you for a screening followed by conversation with filmmaker Swarnavel Eswaran about his film, Kattumaram (Catamaran).
From the POV of a conservative maternal uncle who cares deeply for his Tsunami-orphaned niece and nephew, we see his gradual transformation as he accepts his niece's relationship with a woman.
Kattumaram revolves around the Tsunami-affected lives of the middle-aged Singaram, who is now taking care of his orphaned niece Anandhi, who is a teacher, and nephew Mani, who are the children of his elder and younger sisters, respectively. As the fisherman Singaram works hard to provide for his family, he also tries to arrange a groom for his niece, who rejects the many alliances he suggests. Once on an impulse, when he proposes to his niece, she is shocked. Singaram soon comes to know that she is in love with a fellow female teacher, Kavita. As Singaram comes to terms with his niece's sexual orientation, he is ostracized by his community because of her sexual transgression. The patriarchal Singaram's ego is deflated, and he empathizes with the plight of the village barber, the transwoman Alankaram.
In Tamil with English subtitles.
73 minutes
Swarnavel Eswaran is an associate professor in the Department of English and the School of Journalism at Michigan State University. He is a graduate of the preeminent Film and Television Institute of India and the prestigious film studies program at the University of Iowa. His significant documentaries include Nagapattinam: Waves from the Deep (2018), Hmong Memories at the Crossroad (2016), Migrations of Islam (2014), and Unfinished Journey: A City in Transition (2012), among others. His research focuses on Tamil cinema’s history, aesthetics, politics, and the contemporary digital era and the concomitant changes in the consumption and production of films. His books include Tamil Cinema Reviews: 1931-1960 (Nizhal Publications, 2020) and Madras Studios: Narrative, Genre, and Ideology in Tamil Cinema (Sage Publications, 2015). His fiction feature Kattumaram (Catamaran, 2019), a collaboration with Tamil’s cinema’s leading director Mysskin, is currently on the film festival circuit.

Where is it happening?

Institute for South Asia Studies, 10 Stephens Hall,Berkeley,CA,United States, Berkeley, United States

Event Location & Nearby Stays:

Institute for South Asia Studies

Host or Publisher Institute for South Asia Studies

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