About the Film maker:
As someone who straddles multiple cultures between his academic and creative practice, Anal Shah’s work explores issues of identity, migration, and other things that are usually ‘lost in translation’.
His work has been shown at venues such the Viennale, Ann Arbor Film Festival, PDX and Detroit Docs among others. Anal received his education at the California Institute of the Arts, and serves as faculty in the School of Visual & Media Arts at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where he teaches film/video production.
The Three films are –
Kabir Song, 5 mins, 2006
Kabir Song is based on the life of 14th century Indian mystic and poet, Kabir, who was most famous for his songs scorning religious affiliation. His life and death is surrounded by legends, where it is still unclear whether he was a Muslim or Hindu The camera follows a similar mystic as he walks the streets of a northern Indian city singing the songs of Kabir.
Laxmi at the Gate, 21 mins, 2007
Laxmi at the Gate is a portrait of Ahmedabad, the filmmaker’s hometown in India. It tells a story, a barely known local legend in which in ancient times Laxmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth was trapped at the city’s gates. The film unfolds through a series of vignettes that takes the viewer on a journey of intimate encounters with the scenes, sounds and some the residents of the city of Ahmedabad.
Kalaripayattu, 30 mins, 2017
Woven from observational footage shot at various Kalaris (martial arts gyms) in northern Kerala, Kalaripayattu is an ethnographic portrait of the ancient south Indian martial art- Kalaripayattu, which is often regarded as the ‘mother of all martial arts’. The film offers no subtitles to its Malayalam language, nor provides any explanation via narration, thus encouraging the viewer into an unfiltered sensory experience. Symphonic in its form, the camera’s response to the high paced action of the martial art sequences transform the movement into a dance, while the dynamics in editing, sometimes synched with traditional drums give the film a percussive effect. Ultimately, the film becomes an immersive meditation on the human body in motion.