Saturday, December 02, 2017

AIFF 2017 - Homework Assignment Before Seeing "Pale Blue Dot" ('Sarvanaam' in Marathi) SUNDAY

I've been chatting with Girish Mohite via Facebook Messenger about his film, Pale Blue Dot, which plays at the Anchorage International Film Festival
Sunday, Dec. 3 AK Exp Theater Small 11:45am   and
Sunday, Dec. 9 AK Exp  Theater Small  2:30pm

I would note that this film has only been shown publicly in India at its world premiere at the Mumbai International Film Festival.   This will be the first public showing of the film outside of India.  This is one of the Features in Competition.

In our first exchange, he told me the film was based on an ancient Hindu legend.  I asked for more information and he sent me a link to Wikipedia:
"The son questions his father - First Valli The Upanishad opens with the story of Vajasravasa, also called Aruni Auddalaki Gautama,[24] who gives away all his worldly possessions. However, his son Nachiketa (Sanskrit: नचिकेता) sees the charitable sacrifice as a farce, because all those worldly things have already been used to exhaustion, and are of no value to the recipients. The cows given away, for example, were so old that they had 'drank-their-last-water' (पीतोदकाः), 'eaten-their-last-grass' (जग्धतृणाः), 'don't give milk' (दुग्धदोहाः), 'who are barren' (निरिन्द्रियाः).[25] Concerned, the son asks his father,  
"Dear father, to whom will you give me away?"
— Nachiketa, Katha Upanishad, 1.1.1-1.1.4[26][27]
He said it a second, and then a third time.
The father, seized by anger, replied: "To Death, I give you away."  
Nachiketa does not die, but accepts his father's gifting him to Death, by visiting the abode of Yama - the deity of death in Indian mythology. Nachiketa arrives, but Yama is not in his abode. Nachiketa as guest goes hungry for three nights, states verse 9 of the first Valli of Katha Upanishad. Yama arrives and is apologetic for this dishonor to the guest, so he offers Nachiketa three wishes.[28] 
Nachiketa' first wish is that Yama discharge him from the abode of death, back to his family, and that his father be calm, well-disposed, not resentful and same as he was before when he returns. Yama grants the first wish immediately, states verse 1.1.11 of Katha Upanishad.[28] 
For his second wish, Nachiketa prefaces his request with the statement that heaven is a place where there is no fear, no anxiety, no old age, no hunger, no thirst, no sorrow.[28] He then asks Yama, in verse 1.1.13 of Katha Upanishad to be instructed as to the proper execution of fire ritual that enables a human being to secure heaven. Yama responds by detailing the fire ritual, including how the bricks should be arranged, and how the fire represents the building of the world. Nachiketa remembers what Yama tells him, repeats the ritual, a feat which pleases Yama, and he declares that this fire ritual will thereafter be called the "Nachiketa fires".[29] Yama adds that along with "three Nachiketa fires", anyone who respects three bonds (with mother, father and teacher), does three kinds of karma (rituals, studies and charity), and understands the knowledge therein, becomes free of sorrow.[29] 
Nachiketa then asks for his third wish, asking Yama in verse 1.1.20, about the doubt that human beings have about "what happens after a person dies? Does he continue to exist in another form? or not?"[29] The remaining verse of first Valli of Katha Upanishad is expression of reluctance by Yama in giving a straight "yes or no" answer. Yama states that even gods doubt and are uncertain about that question, and urges Nachiketa to pick another wish.[30][31] Nachiketa says that if gods doubt that, then he "Yama" as deity of death ought to be the only one who knows the answer. Yama offers him all sorts of worldly wealth and pleasures instead, but Nachiketa says human life is short, asks Yama to keep the worldly wealth and pleasures to himself, declares that pompous wealth, lust and pleasures are fleeting and vain, then insists on knowing the nature of Atman (Soul) and sticks to his question, "what happens after death?"[30][32]"
He also sent me this synopsis of the film.  I don't think this is a spoiler, trust me.
"A specific name underlines the existence of a given individual but Sarvanaam i.e. an Eternity is a collective notion. Even while living this life making an effort to  preserve one's own identity, often the destiny plays its cards in such an incomprehensible manner that one is imperatively left with no alternative but to ignore one's own personal existence or unique identity and dissolve oneself in the mighty oblivion of the Sarvanaam, the eternity.  The film 'Sarvanaam', the Pale Blue Dot makes you aware of this insurmountable truth.
Thus, the existence of LIFE is PALE BLUE DOT.
'Death' is an ultimate truth. Each one of us is radically aware that at some or the other point of time in life, the death, is going to come to meet us and end our role. But even then every human being feels afraid of the death of his near and dear ones rather than being frightened of one's own death. That is why, every individual gets disturbed when the same death starts lingering around in the lives of your near and dear ones. This close shadow of the death destroys the peace of mind of every individual howsoever invariable truth it may be. An approaching shadow of that evil arouses a feeling of unacceptable injustice in his mind and he leaves no stone unturned to unveil the answer of this riddle. The unbearable sorrow of this inhuman destiny and the agonising journey of every human being's life saga is the gist of the Marathi feature film 'Sarvanaam'."

Below is the trailer. I'd note that Girish sent me this and gave me permission to put it on Youtube so I could get an embed code to post it here.

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