Filmmaker looks to the kite-filled skies of Ahmedabad

August 24, 2012

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Up to a million kites take off into the skies over Ahmedabad, the largest city in the Indian state of Gujarat.  When Chicago-born Prashant Bhargava went there to visit as a child, the memory of the colorful kites and the way that the kite flying brought the entire city to the roof tops to compete and celebrate remained. Years and much life-experience later, Prashant returned with a crew to make an independent feature about the tensions in a family set against the backdrop of the famous kite-flying festival.

The grown-up son of a family returns home from Delhi after a 5-year absence together with his daughter during the festival. He’s chosen the road to success, but as the film unwinds, lost something in the process – the rootedness of place and family which can’t be replaced with financial success. Prashant’s lyrical, documentary approach captures the sights, sounds, music and bits of lives of a broad cross-section of people and melds them with fragments of dramatic action which reveal the unspoken tensions between the family members.

Other than the fireworks lighting up the sky, there are no explosions in PATANG. What we get instead is a meditative celebration of people captured in fractured moments during the trajectory of their lives. The film serves as a touching reminder that we all live parallel lives.