Amazonia

A film by Nandini Sikand

US | 2001 | 8 minutes | Color/BW | DVD | Order No. 03774

SYNOPSIS

In this highly personal and visually evocative testimonial, critically acclaimed South Asian filmmaker Nandini Sikand poignantly presents her sister’s triumphal recovery from the emotional and physical scars of breast cancer. Lyrically incorporating poetry, experimental video and Super-8 montage, this moving piece looks at the myth of Amazonian women - warriors who were said to have cut off their right breast to become better archers - and compares their legendary battles to the war being waged against breast cancer. As Sikand’s sister reads passages describing her fight with the disease, the geography of her body is explored and compared to the scarred landscape of the urban environment. Traversing the pulsating and dizzying streets, the city and body become one to highlight women’s lives as triumphant urban warriors. Moving and inspiring, this short experimental film is a tribute to all women who have struggled with breast cancer.

PRESS

“… a visually stunning video, shuttling between chillingly sharp digital photography and warm, poignant, almost pointalist images... Evocative of both individual memory and the history of gendered bodies, it claims, in its short length, both the Lyric and the Manifesto, as it engages questions of breast cancer.”

Joseph Boles Northern Arizona University

“…provides a new way to imagine the lives of those in pain with ongoing serious illnesses. It offers a textured imagery of crowds and cities and struggle, of fighting and nobility it’s not about being a victim. Illness brings pain and loss, but it is also full of life.”

Julia Lesage English Dept, University of Oregon

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

  • Belo Horizonte International Short Film Festival
  • Bilbao International Documentary and Short Film Festival
  • Cinema Paradise Film Festival
  • Immaginaria Film Festival, Experimental Competition Award
  • Los Angeles Artwallah Festival
  • New York Asian American International Film Festival
  • Women of Color Film Festival, CA

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Nandini Sikand

Nandini is Assistant Professor of an interdisciplinary film and media studies program at Lafayette College, a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. Sikand’s documentary and experimental films have screened and won awards at over 100 domestic and international film festivals. Her work has aired on PBS and has been awarded grants from The Jerome Foundation, the Center for Asian American Media, and she is two-time awardee of New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Her films include: The Bhangra Wrap (1995), Don't Fence Me In (1998), Amazonia (2001), In Whose Name? (2004), Soma Girls (2009), and Cranes of Hope (2011). She also produced the documentary Mahasweta Devi: Witness, Advocate, Writer (2001). In television, she has worked as a producer and director on projects for Channel Four: UK, Ovation: the Arts Network, HBO, Oxygen, and The History Channel. She served on the board of directors of Women Make Movies, a non-profit feminist media distribution organization from 1997-2006. She was on the Fulbright IIE National Selection committee for film and video for 2008-2011.

Nandini choreographs and performs regularly with her neo-classical Odissi dance company, Sakshi Productions. Her dance work has been funded by LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council), the Asian American Arts Alliance and Joyce Soho and combines the use of film imagery, live music and elements unique to Indian theatre and performance. She is also the Associate Director/Choreographer of Harmattan Theater a performance group committed to an environmentally and socially-engaged theater.

She was recently awarded an American Association of University Women (AAUW) postdoctoral fellowship towards her book project, Bodies, Bells and Borders: Choreographing a New Odissi Tradition. (8/14)

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