Private Project

PSYCHEDELHI - Tabah Desh Mein Ek Din

An experimental mixed genre narrative film encompassing several socio-political themes plotted together by the protagonist's compulsive storytelling to his mother. The film delves deep into the collective memory of violence. It makes a cinematic analysis of despotic power juxtaposing historical narratives, literary narratives and its own original narrative. A cinematic essay on Issues of environmentalism, totalitarianism, casteism, and queer politics while paying homages to various cinematic traditions from India and the rest of the world.

Author Tom Vater's review -
~If Godard and Tarkovsky had conceived an illegitimate child, with an anarchist bohemian Brahmin capturing the surrealist copulation on camera round the back of a chowk in the Indian capital, the offspring might look something like PsycheDelhi.
Delhi is usually perceived as a little rough around the edges by foreign visitors, not least thanks to its unbreathable air, but Surya Dash’s sprawling, poetic and occasionally tense epic Noir take on just about everything that irks liberal Indians brings depth and beauty to the grime and venal corruption that snakes through the city like a main circuit cable plugged straight into the country’s establishment, be it political, religious or freelance moralistic.
PsycheDelhi meanders through this darkness of forlorn hopes and dreams of characters – a prime minister, a poet, a gay urbanite and a Tibetan refugee – that are so tied down by system and social circumstance that they can barely move, even when they are on the run. Just before their stories hit rock-bottom, the film swerves to the left into mesmerizing sequences of city life, subtly infused with political anger, that manage to be more poignant than the violence a lesser film maker might have been tempted into.
The film is a crime story of sorts, with a detective of sorts, wearing trilby and personal tragedy with equal conviction. More Lew Archer than Sherlock Holmes, our PI guides us high and low and in between, but always further into the Noir. Dash takes narrative clues, consciously or otherwise, from classic Noir novels of the 60s. We are not really interested in who done it because we are all doing it. Instead, we look at the pathetic humanity of small losers (and that includes the befuddled PM) who have thoughts of happiness and dignity dashed quicker than your street corner cop can raise his lathi.- Review by Tom Vater

PsycheDelhi revels in the sublime knowledge that it has the power to infuriate reactionaries at home, while telling a heartbreaking story universal enough to deserve an international audience.~

  • Surya Shankar Dash
    The Mountain of Law, Shot Dead For Development
  • Surya Shankar
  • Surya Shankar & Others
  • Vipin Bharadwaj
    Key Cast
  • Nirupama
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    PSYCHEDELHI Tabah Des Mein Ek Din
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Mixed Genre, Film Noir, Experimental, Avant garde
  • Runtime:
    2 hours 15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 23, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital Full HD 1080 25p
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Surya Shankar Dash

Surya Shankar is an activist-filmmaker based in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He has made several documentaries on indigenous people's movements. His films have been screened across the nation in various film festivals as well as international forums. He has also collaborated with several indigenous people to make their own films. As an activist he has participated in the struggle of the Dongria Kondh tribe against British mining giant Vedanta and also takes part in anti-caste Ambedkarite movements.

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Director Statement

The film was financed partially from the filmmaker's savings, donations from friends and family, as well as a crowd fund. The film cost us approximately 7 lakh rupees to make. The film was made using degraded and vintage lenses to create a certain dated look and we have used no artificial light at all in the film. Most of the actors and crew have worked pro bono and a few have worked for a nominal fee.

The whole motivation for us was to make a full length feature film outside the studio system and one that would be defiant of oppressive practices in movie making. It was only a humble attempt and one doesn't know whether the outcome is really successful. Nonetheless, if you have some time to spare and want to watch our attempt at making a new kind of cinema, here you are!