Musings of solitary days
Shortfilm ‘QuarantinE’ by Kiran Sandhya shows how elderly people spent their lockdown days confined to home.
The pandemic days followed by lockdown were a time of isolation, especially for the elder citizens. Their secluded days and how they spent that time alone are vividly depicted in the recently released short film, QuarantinE, written and directed by Kiran Sandhya.
The 13-minute short, conceived by the former journalist-turned-filmmaker, has incorporated a real-life character — Thiruvananthapuram-based artist George Fernandez who owns Flora art gallery at Oottukuzhy. The story follows George, 68, and how he finds it difficult to pass each day confined to his home. The artist misses his students who were daily visitors before the lockdown. His silence and inactiveness also show the lack of art engagements he faced during pandemic days, explains the director.
But for George, the film was his acting debut. “I live alone in my house near my gallery. The character’s plight was similar to my experience. Kiran chose me as she was on the lookout for an artist like me. And at the age of 68, I made my acting debut,” quips George. The senior artist has lived up to the role, emoting the silent sadness even in scenes that lacked dialogue. The news about the demise of his friends and the cancellation of his craft works bookings though make him depressed. George stays inside the house and prays for a better peaceful future.
“Depression was there in all our lives, especially for artists. I tried to see every day with the hope of getting back to normalcy and it made me survive. Kiran also tried to induce the same through her screenplay through my role,” he adds. According to the director, she focused on senior citizens as she found they suffered a lot, maybe even more than others, during the lockdown. The film was shot at George’s house.
“It took three weeks to complete the shoot. Many have said the film should have been released during the lockdown. But I want the viewers to analyse their lockdown days — how they spent them and what they learnt during those days. I feel nobody would dare to watch it during the height of the pandemic. The film is a message to rethink the Covid times and understand the value of our lives,” she says.