DER Documentary

The Sound of Old Rooms

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by Sandeep Ray
color, 72 min, 2011
in Bengali with English subtitles

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The Sound of Old Rooms, filmed over 20 years, traces the life of Sarthak, an Indian man who juggles his desire to be a poet with the practicalities of raising a family. As a college student he had time to drink with friends and discuss his writings; now with work commitments, he struggles to continue his dream. The crumbling home where he was raised and still lives with his nagging but affectionate mother, wife and young son is extremely cramped; he sleeps, as he has since a child, surrounded by books. Sarthak leads us through Kolkata's bars, apartments and alleyways as he tries to understand life and find meaning in his work.

“This deeply moving film evokes an amazing intimacy and empathy with the poet, his family, publisher, students and teacher, as well as the lively addas and dark alleys of Kolkata — and is remarkable for the way in which it celebrates the ordinary.” — Meenakshi Shedde,
“There is never a moment when we feel that we are voyeurs or that the scenes are being manipulated for the camera.” — Roy Stafford, In The Picture

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Grand Prize, Taiwan Int. Documentary Film Festival, Taiwan, 2012
Nomination for Best Documentary, Asian Pacific Screen Awards, Australia, 2012
Bradford Int. Film Festival, United Kingdom, 2013
Jean Rouch Film Festival, France, 2012
CPH:DOX, Denmark, 2012
Jihlava Int. Film Festival, Czech Repulic, 2012
Osians Film Festival, India, 2012
Sydney Film Festival, Australia, 2012
Dubai Film Festival, United Arab Emirates, 2011
Pusan Film Festival, South Korea, 2011

Related Films
Songs of a Sorrowful Man
Pintor Campesino (Peasant Painter)

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts