An Insignificant Man

A captivating portrait of political leader Arvind Kejriwal, aka 'The Bernie Sanders of India', filmed over one extremely eventful year as he seeks to disrupt Indian politics.

Fed up with the blatant corruption he encountered daily, former bureaucrat Kejriwal took the extraordinary step of forming a new political movement, the Common Man's Party (AAP) in 2012. In a country where two parties held sway, this radical upstart seemed unlikely to shake the status quo – but there are no guarantees in politics these days. The directors follow the AAP leader on his grass-roots campaign trail, filming rallies, party meetings and an eventual hunger strike. It's a rollercoaster ride with rival politicians and media spinning the truth every which way. A fascinating document of India's political climate, the film echoes themes seen elsewhere in the festival such as in The Giant is Falling (see page xx).

Combining exceptional access and deft editing, this documentary about the rise of India's newest parliamentary party, the Common Man's Party (AAP), and the divisive, charismatic man at its heart, makes for unexpectedly riveting viewing. – Wendy Ide, Screen International

When asked about the obvious comparisons between Kejriwal and Western anti-establishment politicians like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, [director] Ranka replied: "I think it's great to draw parallels because that establishes a sort of universality to such a phenomenon. Of course there are nuances and differences... For example when we were in the US and Canada people drew comparisons with Bernie Sanders and while we were like, yes, we can see why this comparison comes up, we were also cautious enough to say that Sanders is a career politician whereas these guys – they were complete outsiders to politics. This anti-establishment, setting yourself away from the status quo in contrast to the status quo, is consistent, not just with Corbyn and Sanders but even Trump for that. For us it was a portrait of democracy. We have grown up completely alienated from the political process and the picture of India as a democracy." E. Nina Rothe, Huffington Post

Festival guests: Khushboo Ranka


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Khushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla

India

96 mins

Hindi with English subtitles

Udegi Dhool

15+

2016

Khushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla

Anand Gandhi, Ruchi Bhimani

Khushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla, Vinay Rohira

Abhinav Tyagi, Manan Bhat

Arvind Kejriwal, Yogendra Yadav, Santosh Koli

Production Company: Memesys Culture Lab