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The Crossing, 2008
India, 35mm, colour, 3 min
episode from the film Stories
on Human Rights, An ART for The World production, Geneva

Born in 1966 in Anandapuram, Kerala, India. Lives in Hyderabad, India.


The Crossing, 2008


In an Indian village set in a valley bordered by an express highway, a tribal woman returning home from the grazing fields, intends to cross the expressway with her herd of cows. When she eventually finds a gap in the heavy passing traffic to cross the road, a truck approaches at speed, forcing her to retreat and separates her from the herd. Anxiously the woman steps again into the traffic and is hit by a school bus. After the collision, traffic stops, cows run amok and angry villagers begin smashing everything in protest. A man wearing dark goggles and electronic gadgets appears on the scene. He waves the body of the tribal woman which – flat like a piece of cardboard – is brought to the ambulance.

In a sophisticated workshop, technicians work on  her body and fashion a doll out of her. Later, presumably at the launch of the doll in a modern shopping mall, a caricature of the cow comes alive; a dancing cow with the smiling head of the tribal woman. We see a big smile on the face of the man in goggles.

After a short time as geologist in his home region, Nair decided to study film direction in Mumbai. His first short- movie, Tragedy of an Indian Farmer, was awarded as the Best Indian Short Film. His feature length movies The Death’s Throne, A Dog’s Day and A Story That Begins at the End were shown in Cannes.  All of  them address social structures and injustices in rural India. Together with his wife Preeya, he runs London-based production company, Elephant Films, as well as its subsidiary Maya Films in Hyderabad, India. In 2007, Murali Nair was awarded the Prize of the City of Venice, on the occasion of the 64th Venice Film Festival. In 2008, he contributed to the film  project, Stories on Human Rights, produced by ART for The World.


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