Kamal Swaroop

Kamal Swaroop is a film, television and radio director and screenwriter. In 1974 he graduated from the Film and Television Institute and even his student works met with unusual international acclaim. He continued with postgraduate studies at the Institute. He assisted the director Richard Attenborough in the filming of Gandhi (1982). He made documentary as well as feature films. He is currently working on the television series The Life and Times of Dadasaheb Phalke. Famously banned, a formal experimenter, Om Dar-B-Dar is his master work.

Om Dar-B-Dar - 1988 - Hindi

One of the most unusual independent films of the 80s, Kamal Swaroop's debut film is set in a mythical small town in Rajasthan and tells the tale of the boy Om growing into adolescence. Son of a fortune teller, Om's major problem is that, riddled with guilt about his voyeurism, he believes himself to be responsible for everything that happens around him. Meanwhile, his elder sister Gayatri, who is being courted by Jagdish, dreams of a future in which she can ride a bicycle or sit in the men's section of a movie theatre. Many of Om's fantasies about sexuality and death are graphically realised in remarkable son sequences: the science teacher dissecting a frog expands into a fellinisque "Rana Tigrina" number or the moonwalk on a terrace on the night that Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. This double-edged satire acquires a further dimension with the entry of Phoolkumari whose sexuality sends out beguiling yet horrifying message. The war is declared as Diwali firecrackers become real explosions. His father's diamonds, hoarded for black market reasons, are swallowed by frogs. In the end, Om atones by enacting the traditional legend of Brahma's descent to earth.

Direction & Screenplay: Kamal Swaroop
Cast: Anita Kanwar, Gopi Desai, Lalit Tiwari, Aditya Lakhia
Cinematography: Ashwani Kaul
Music: Rajat Dholakia

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