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Wade review: An ominous film about what the future may hold

Release Date: 31 Jul 2021 / 11min


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Sukhpreet Kahlon

The handmade animation brings alive a dystopic world where climate change has wreaked havoc on our lives.

Climate change is staring us in the face and the irreparable damage we are doing to the environment poses one of humanity's biggest looming threats. The short animation film Wade, written and directed by Upamanyu Bhattacharyya and Kalp Sanghvi, imagines a dystopian world where climate change has wreaked havoc on all life.

The film takes place in the future when the life-supporting mangrove area, the Sunderbans, has shrunk so much as to almost be non-existent, causing flooding in the city of Kolkata and making it uninhabitable. An encounter takes place between the remaining human scavengers in the once-bustling metropolis and animals in this watery wasteland. As the humans set out to possibly look for food, they are attacked by a Royal Bengal tiger. Driven to desperation, both animal and man become engaged in a lethal battle for survival.

Wade presents a vision of impending doom. It is disturbing to imagine the world that the film creates, a city converted into an isolated swamp where wild animals roam free and one can fish on what were once concrete roads.

The animators use the famous Park Street as the site for the unfolding action, which is bound to horrify any Kolkata dweller. The graffiti on the walls indicate the reactions of residents in the face of the unfolding crisis.

It is the poor and the marginalized who are always the first victims of man-made disasters and the situation is much the same in this film. The issue of migrants is central to almost every country in the world today and the film portrays the harsh reaction to climate-change refugees.

The hand-drawn animation is evocative and the hungry expressions on people’s faces, along with their desperate actions, throw the hopelessness of the situation into sharp relief. Eventually, the film portrays how there can only be grotesque outcomes in a monstrous world.

The film has been screened at several international film festivals and won the City of Annecy award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.

Wade is being screened at the Dharamshala International Film Festival 2020. You can watch the film here till Sunday 8 November.

Related topics

Dharamshala International Film Festival

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