P. Sainath is notoriously averse to being filmed. How did you manage to make a documentary about him?Finnish documentary commissioning editor Iikka Vehkalahti has known Sainath for a very long time and he has been trying to get Sainath to be a part of a film for years, but Sainath consistently refused. I met Iikka and I told him, let’s start filming Sainath and see where it goes. Sainath was reporting very aggressively at that time on the agrarian crisis. He would go to the countryside and I would shoot him or get him filmed. I shot sporadically, without any intent of making a film or knowing what it would be about.
- Find out more about Nero's Guests here.
- Mint's Lounge supplement has also published a brief article on the documentary.
- I have bought a copy of the DVD for the college — among the many important reasons for our AVC students to watch it: learn how to make a documentary on a public figure tacking a public crisis.
- Photo courtesy: Time Out Bengaluru
This is one of those documentaries that every so-called 'educated' citizen in India should watch. The one who thinks India is all about information technology. The one who takes pride in the fact that our GDP growth is the highest. The one who feels great that we are one of the fastest growing economies of the world and is enthralled by the idea of globalisation.
Magsaysay award winner P. Sainath, whose work is the subject of this documentary, may come across as a grumpy, angry, and frustrated man but what else can you expect of a warrior who has been fighting a lone battle for three decades watching his countrymen fall one by one to the arrows of corporatisation and industrialisation? His account of how our definition of development has caused complete devastation in the lives of farmers and led to the agrarian crisis is like a tête-à-tête with the real India and the slow death she is dying at the hands of Nero's guests.
Wonder who Nero's guests are? Watch the documentary. You'll be surprised.
- Nero's Guests is now available on YouTube; watch it here.