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Malai preview: When the poor are taken for a ride by those in power

The film narrates the tale of a poor tribal family that is looking forward to enjoy a feast thrown by a politician.

Keyur Seta

Malai [Ice Cream] is an Odia film, written and directed by Rajdeep Paul and Sarmishtha Maiti. The 15-minute long film tells the story of a poor and downtrodden tribal family, consisting of a single mother and her three children.

The family has a hand-to-mouth subsistence. One day, the kids learn that a rich politician from their neighbourhood will be hosting a feast to celebrate his son’s wedding and every villager is welcome. Food and money will be distributed to all. The prospect of enjoying a lavish meal and, especially, malai or ice-cream, makes one of the kids particularly happy.

He, along with his mother and elder brother, eagerly awaits the day. However, they are in for a rude surprise when they reach for the feast. 

Malai portrays the harsh reality of the exploitation of people from the lowest strata of the society by those in power. The film is shot in actual locations where the tribal people live. The casting, and make-up also ensures that the artistes closely resemble real tribals.

Malai will be screened at the 6th Woodpecker International Film Festival on 23 November at the Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi. 

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Woodpecker International Film Festival