Most of India lives in villages. Being a predominantly agrarian society, nearly three-fourths of India’s population resides in rural areas. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for two-thirds of the population. Today, farming and farmers are in deep crisis; more than 3.2 lakh farmers committing suicide is only the tip of the iceberg of the prevailing crisis. Deepening ground waters, increasing chemicals in food, increasing crop failures on one hand and decreasing incomes and increasing indebtedness on the other are reported from across the country.
Mitti – Back To The Roots
Director Anshul Sinha, an Indie-filmmaker from Hyderabad has made a movie about those who are closest to the roots and who deserve so much more than what they are getting from this country. Sinha has received over 104 awards at various national and international film festivals.
“Mitti:Back to the Roots” is a 120 minutes docu-drama on agrarian crisis and farmer suicides in India. It cover 25 major issues from drought to pricing policies which are responsible for this crisis. The film also showcases ways to address the problems at the grassroots. It aims at saving every farmer from giving up farming as a profession and also to help reduce farmer suicides in the country.
It is a docudrama about Ekta, a young agricultural scientist realising problems within the current model of agriculture research, regulation and practice and the way farming is pushed into crisis and food production and consumption gets into a vicious poisonous cycle. Further, she explores ways to find solutions in working with farmers for the agrarian crisis and farmer suicide happening in our country.
“Dr.Ramanjaneyulu, GV-Executive director of Centre of Sustainable Agriculture liked our previous project Gateway To Heaven and offered us this opportunity to work on a film on agrarian crisis in India. We started working on this project in November 2015. To write the screenplay of the film we practically learned farming and Agriculture for 2 months under the guidance of Ramanjaneyulu GV,” Anshul said.
The film is presented by Development Dialogue, a forum to dialogue about the ways of addressing the development challenges we are facing. The crowdfunding campaign for the movie was started on 16 December, 2016 and ended in the month of February, 2017. It started its first shoot schedule on 11 Feb 2017. The campaign was supported by 120 individuals and organisations who are concerned about the plight of the farmers, like Dinesh Chandrashekar, Suresh Ediga, SAHE, Rural hope foundation.
The film was shot in Enabavi, India’s first organic village. Located 100 kms from Hyderabad, Enabavi is situated in Jangaon dist, Telangana. Currently the film is completed and struggling for release . It is based on several real life stories of farmers and villages which underwent the deep crisis and also moved out finding their path towards sustainability. One such story is of a village in Dorli, in Wardha dist, Maharashtra (Dorli) which was put up for ‘sale’.
As of now, Mitti is is looking for support at the distribution level to release the movie on the national level.
Cinema as a medium of communication works wonders when utilised in the proper way. Sinha has made the best possible use of the forum by giving voice to the several voiceless farmers who are drowning in debts and have no choice left in front of them but to commit suicide. They are victims of chemical farming and are on the verge of losing their job which is also their identity. Sinha hopes that it reaches a large audience and is successful in sensitizing them on the issue it focuses on.
Watch the trailer here:
For more details, please visit: Mitti – the film.