A Night of Knowing Nothing

  • April 9, 2022 / 16:00
  • April 10, 2022 / 13:30
  • April 17, 2022 / 16:00

Director: Payal Kapadia
France, India, 2021, 96', DCP, color
Hindi, Bengali with Turkish, English subtitles

L, a university student in India, writes letters to her estranged lover, while he is away. Through these letters, we get a glimpse into the drastic changes taking place around her. Merging reality with fiction, dreams, memories, fantasies and anxieties, an amorphous narrative unfolds. By turns gritty and lyrical, Payal Kapadia’s A Night of Knowing Nothing (2021) is a penetrating look at the politics of education—of film education specifically—as India’s once thriving liberal public sphere yields to sectarian division and chauvinism. On a background of state-sanctioned violence and intimidation, what stands out is Kapadia’s quiet insistence on the necessity of private reflection. Resistance demands fiction, somehow, even as the failure of news media and other democratic institutions leaves no ground for a non-partisan artistic stance.

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