The largely self-funded first feature by Indian theater director and playwright Haksar was made in Old Delhi with a cast of a few veteran thespians and hundreds of non-professional actors, many of whom are impoverished migrants. The film’s free-form story was conceived through extensive interviews with local people about their dreams. Four focusing characters – a tour guide, a pickpocket, a snack vendor, and a labor advocate – show us different and frequently surreal views of the city that mix vulgarity and sublimity and challenge myriad preconceptions for the sake of being true to life.
Anamika Haksar This film is the brainchild of Anamika Haksar, an eminent theatre director in contemporary Indian theatre. Having trained first under Badal Sarcar and then B.V. Karanth at NSD, she was one of the few Indians to train at State Institute Of Theatre Arts, Moscow. These influences have led her down an uncompromising path of formal experimentation in theatre that has earned her a pre-eminent place in the Indian theatre lexicon. She has been awarded the Sanskruti Award for developing a new theater language in India in the year 1995. She is one of the few theatre practitioners who was also invited to the Kochi Biennale in 2016 to exhibit a theatre installation which was highly acclaimed. Now, having evolved a script out of her love for the life and history of Shahjahanabad, Anamika seeks to bring her unique, tried and tested sensibility into the cinematic medium with a complex and layered narrative about the old city.