ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Love in the Time of Pigs

The award-winning Marathi film Fandry is a powerful narrative of adolescent love torn asunder by the harsh realities of caste. 

Directed by Nagraj Manjule in 2013 and released in theatres on 14 February 2014, Valentine’s Day, the Marathi film Fandry seduces as only cinema can. Gently and quite leisurely, Fandry leads the audience into young Jabya’s (played by Somnath Avghade) world of school, work, friends and adolescent love. Lulling you with the promise of the quivering charms of boyish dreams, towards the end, however, the film rudely jolts you awake with the harsh fact of caste, that ancient and cruel system that allows neither love nor transcendence.

Fandry” means “pig” in the dialect spoken by the “untouchable” Kaikadi community. Indeed, the village of Akolner, near Ahmednagar, seems infested with pigs. Living off garbage and covered in filth, every once in a while they run amuck, wrecking traffic, children’s games, processions, and life in general. The pigs too are untouchable; girls scamper for a purifying bath if one touches them even accidentally. In the whole of Akolner, only Jabya’s poor family, which lives isolated on the outskirts of the village, is expected to touch the pigs for whatever reason – to get rid of them or to eat them. But Jabya has no time or interest in pigs; his heart is set on a black sparrow that flits across the sparse wide woodlands surrounding the village.

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