We have interviewed mr. Vinod Bharathan, director of “Karma Cartel”, presented at Overlook 2014 Cinemavvenire Film Festival in Rome.
“Karma Cartel” describes a sequence of events with deep realism analyzing the fall of an actor. It seems loyalty can’t ever prevail on the social logic of profit. Why this pessimistic view of reality?
I’m somehow trying to address the message that greed is what puts us all in trouble. The events in the film are something i have seen or experienced first-hand, and they are not pleasant in reality, so why paint a wrong picture? As far as the trouble the actor gets into, they are just circumstantial, and not all of them go through what he went through. It is a case of rotten apples in the basket, no matter how loyal you are, if we as a collective are rotten, then there is only a faint chance of hope.
What do you like about Italian cinema? Can you point out the differences compared to the Indian system?
I have never been a cinephile during my life in India. I was very much in contact with reality and the truth, and found the flashy super-hero factor or happy endings in Indian films unbearable to my intellect. Indian cinema is an industry, a candy factory, that has taken us (the Common Indian) through the tough and tense times the country was in. I truly believe that in a vast country like India where there are multiple religions, cultures and values, it is this candy factory that has kept us together. Every one disregards their religious differences and becomes an Indian in the cinema hall, which is their second temple.
I have not seen much of Italian cinema, but i have been strongly influenced by Danish filmmakers (Denmark is where i live now) like Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration), Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher, Drive) and Jorgen Leth (The Five obstructions), who in their turn were strongly influenced by Italian directors like Luchino Visconti, Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica.
I am a strong believer of their passion to tell a story to an audience in a maverick, yet engaging way. If my film has a taste of Italian Neorealism, it is because i have studied my Danish mentors very well.
In this period, Italy and India are experiencing a very critical situation. Do you think might it be a quick solution to the diplomatic crisis that has arisen?
Seen from my angle, there is a dead person, a killer and lots of alibis and accusations from both sides. Both sides seems to be engaging in a media circus. Every family member and compatriot are dear to their own. But if we take all the others that are not directly involved in this incident out of the frame, and let
the involved engage in a human to human conversation leading to a resolution, this film would have a happy-ending.
How can cinema help society to improve itself?
Cinema are stories, and like how the stories your parents told you while growing up has made you the person you are, Cinema does the same to a mature person and shapes an improved society.
What are your artistic plans for the future?
I’d like to make the world a better place, and i’m going to start cleaning from my own backyard (Kochi, my birthplace), about which KARMA CARTEL is based on.