A couple of new short films take on the raging issues concerning jallikattu
Up-and-coming filmmaker Amar Ramesh has put out a couple of short films based on the ongoing agitations in support of the jallikattu spectacles.One of the films, Life and Jalikattu, is presented as “a documentary about a forbidden livelihood”, raising the questions, “What is jallikattu? Is it a matter of Tamil culture or a national issue?”
The film offers a brief history of the practice, dating back to the 16th century, when it was described in the local tongue as “yeru thazhuvudhai”, literally “bull baiting”, rather than taming.
Till the cows come home
Ramesh quit a corporate career in the US to pursue photography (he runs Studio A, apart from the learning portal Cambyte and Toodle for kids), and founded BIG short films to pursue filmmaking.
Life and Jalikattu has picked up over two lakh views and 12,000 shares online, and was also screened at the Marina Beach at a recent gathering.
Ramesh’s other short film, Little Things, tells the story of an MBA graduate who quits his job to take up cooking and rearing cows. “In times when the whole state is talking about jallikattu and nativity, here is one man preserving nativity practically,” says Ramesh, about the film.
Life and Jalikattu makes a plea for saving indigenous cattle, noting that where India had 133 native breeds a 100 years back, today, we’re left with only 37 breeds. The film also conveys support to youngsters fighting for the cause. As one citizen proclaims, “It is not an art that can be done by people who come from the outside.”
Search for the films Little Things and Life And Jallikattu on YouTube.