MUMBAI; 22nd March 2016: An artiste is defined by his/her conscience. One such artiste is National Award winning filmmaker Hansal Mehta, who has always used his art to focus on pertinent social issues that shape the fabric of India. As part of the ongoing initiative “India Tomorrow” by the India Today group, Hansal Mehta takes the lead by making a sensitive film that focuses on the tragedy that befell Dalit PhD student Rohith Vemula.
The ten minute short film is titled- The last letter: Reach for the Stars.
Poignantly narrated by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, the film reads out from a thought-provoking letter written by Vemula (translated by Swanand Kirkire). This is his suicide note. Heart breaking in its pragmatism and sad observational tone, this letter sets the tone of the current climate of apathy and indifference that the establishment has shown.
Thanking his colleagues for cooperating on this relevant project, Mehta explained his reasons on social media.
He said, “The freedoms and rights guaranteed by our constitution are being taken away from us by polarizing forces. Rohith’s letters express the anguish of a nation at the threshold of revolt against these forces….My intention is to simply play Rohith’s letters as monologues and to provoke us to think about the perils of further polarization.”
Always the one to focus on burning social issues with his acclaimed films like ‘Shahid’ and ‘Aligarh’, Hansal has once again proven the power of cinema in moulding society with this sensitive short film.