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Migrant workers' tragedy was not caused by the pandemic, says Eeb Allay Ooo! director Prateek Vats


On his film's inclusion in the 'We Are One' global film festival, Vats said it is relevant now as the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the apathy of the state towards the plight of migrants.

Sukhpreet Kahlon

Director Prateek Vats's Eeb Allay Ooo! offers a portrayal of a migrant family and its experience in an urban scenario. It draws attention to contemporary reality, where citizens are manipulated, oppressed and confronted daily with violence, uncertainty and loss of livelihood.

The political and social satire follows a young migrant who is forced to take up an unusual job for lack of any options. The thought-provoking film captures his encounters with authority as it contemplates what it means to live under the looming threat of violence in the national capital, Delhi.

Eeb Allay Ooo! review: Moving tale disguised as black comedy

The film assumes greater relevance now as the condition of migrant workers across India has been thrown into sharp relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has brought out heartbreaking images of their plight and highlighted the equally heartbreaking apathy of the state towards them.

Eeb Allay Ooo!, which has been screened at several prestigious festivals around the world, including Berlinale 2020, where it was featured in the Panaroma section, will be screened during YouTube's We Are One global film festival.

Three other films from India, Shaan Vyas's short Natkhat (Hindi), starring Vidya Balan, Arun Karthick’s feature Nasir (Tamil) and Atul Mongia’s short Awake (English), will also be screened at the festival. The proceeds from the festival will be used to raise money for COVID-19 relief work across the world.

Placing the film’s inclusion in the festival in context, Vats said, "It’s a great honour and privilege to be selected for this global film festival. It gives us the opportunity to showcase our film at a time when it has become more relevant than ever. The tragedy of our migrant workers was not created by the pandemic. It was unfolding around us all this while."

The director added, "I hope the film can evoke the current tragedy as the logical conclusion of a universe which is exploitative and unjust. A universe where human beings are reduced to being involuntary participants in the monumental farce unfolding around them. A universe where being a monkey is far more liberating than being human.”

The first screening of the film will be on 30 May, 4:30pm IST. The film will be available for viewing for the next 24 hours after which it will be taken down by the festival. Watch the trailer here:

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