Short : This Bit Of That India (1973)

I never tire of this documentary. The construct, the dialogue, the background music, the cinematography, the disjointed scenes – reveal something new with every watch.

The text below is credited to the author and is listed to give background information on the director and the times.

Hope you enjoy it.

English, B/W, 1973, 20 min

“This Bit of That India” is a layered refection on several things – youth, diversity, progress, education and technology. With an enormous undercurrent of adolescence and sexuality, the film weaves in and out of seemingly disjointed documentary moments of that are a celebration of individual freedom. These are intercut with a college students’ performance of Federico Garcia Lorca’s “The House of Bernarda Alba”, as a metaphor for repression and conformity.
The Documentary Films of SNS Sastry: 
Experimentation,Self-reflexivity and Subversion 
Avijit Mukul Kishore
In 1975, Films Division India was said to be the second largest state-run documentary-producing organization in the world, the largest ones being its equivalents in the former Soviet Union. It was formed in 1948, with the mandate of recording the visual history of the newly formed nation, using the medium of documentary film. This was seen as a suitable medium for informing and instructing the people of the country with the zeal of creating an ideal nation with ideal citizens. The Films Division archive is a rich repository of the state’s rendition of visual history, with over 8000 films made in 14 languages in the celluloid format and several thousands on video.
SNS Sastry joined Films Division India as a newsreel cameraman in the early 1950s and went on to become a director. His films are marked by his distinct voice of self-reflexive experimentation with cinematic form, as also the sometimes subtle and at other times manifest subversion of the agenda of state propaganda. His critique of the act of the processes of national propaganda is expressed through formal innovation, a sense of irony and a nuanced sense of humor, often including the title of the film.



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