Director Anindya Chatterjee tells us why it took him so long to make homeland

Homeland shows how roots are getting blurred and difficult to trace in an increasingly global society
Filmmaker Anindya Chatterjee
Filmmaker Anindya Chatterjee

Where is our homeland? What is a homeland, actually? In this age of global relocation and migration, does the word homeland and its relevance really matters? Anindya Chatterjee’s latest movie, La Patrie — Homeland addresses this issue and more through the lives of a motley young group of expats.

Starring Parambtata Chatterjee and other international actors, this multilingual film released on Netflix a couple of weeks ago. We had a small chat with the director, who made his first feature Jhumura, a movie tracing the journey of Jhumur singers in 2014. Excerpts:

Tell us about your second movie, Homeland.

It’s a precious idea that I nurtured for long since my trip to Africa for a documentary shoot and partly inspired by John Lenon’s iconic song, Imagine. In this world of ever-decreasing virtual distance, our quest for our roots remain the same, irrespective of time and place — it’s an eternal feeling. The film searches whether there’s any exact significance of the word homeland or has it changed in cosmopolitan, multilingual cities. The shooting was extremely intense with no dubbing involved.

<em>Parambrata Chatterjee in Homeland</em>
Parambrata Chatterjee in Homeland

What took you so long after your debut in 2014?

To be honest, Homeland’s concept precedes Jhumura but it took us a little more time to find producers who could relate to our vision and support the movie without trying to introduce any change.

Jhumura was a lyrical tale of the Jhumur artistes of Bengal, and now, Homeland. What inspires you?

Recently, I am getting inspired a lot by the human state of mind since the mind is the real driver and it’s becoming more so important during the lockdown. There’s a famous line from a song by Leonard Cohen, What happens to the heart? And it’s a really serious question. Also magic is something that always inspires me.

Will this pandemic impact indie filmmakers?

I think, on the contrary, it will encourage independent work since that requires a lesser budget. Rather the filmmakers used to work on a bigger scale in lavish sets might be affected due to budget constraints. Henceforth people who know how to use a camera to tell stories intelligently will thrive.



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