A Homecoming Spectacle” (58 mins. & 28 mins.)

The documentary examines specific aspects of the visual culture of Durga Pujo, a grand religio-cultural festival held in Bengal, India. Locally, it is seen as the occasion of the Hindu Goddess Durga’s annual visit to her parental home. Central to the rituals is a sculptural image of the Goddess killing Mahisasura, or the buffalo-demon. This mythic event is considered a symbol of the eternal battle between Good and Evil, and of female empowerment.

While examining some of the temporary public spectacles/installations produced for the event by professional artists, the film explores the currently evolving hybrid, globalizing character of the festival. It observes how fragmented, cross-cultural signs override notions of cultural authenticity; yet in a seemingly paradoxical gesture, also celebrates indigenous traditions and sentiments. Through this inquiry, a personalized narrative in the first hour of the film also reflects on the notions of home, homecoming, and legacy, while the sequel probes some of the issues of art and cultural politics raised in the first part.

A Homecoming Spectacle-Issues (Part 1)

A Homecoming Spectacle-Issues (Part 2)