By Arundhuti Banerjee
Mumbai, June 20 (IANS) Hollywood filmmaker Ken Scott, who has directed “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir” featuring Indian actor Dhanush, says a good film holds the power to start a conversation and changes people’s mind to build a better world.
The film addresses the global immigration issue.
Asked if it is important for him to express his political opinion through his films, Scott told IANS: “I am a filmmaker, I tell stories. I think filmmaking is important because it is an influential and impressionable media that common people are consuming all the time. So if we want to change the way people think, filmmakers are more efficient than politicians.
“I strongly believe that a good film holds the power of being a conversation starter. I can make movies and get people to talk about it… I will not go out and express my opinion randomly. I would rather opt for making a film and my politics will reflect in that.”
Having said that, Scott wants people to laugh and have a good time with his movies.
“I try to make something entertaining, but at the same time, provoke some thought. That is a true entertainment for me,” added the filmmaker, known for movies like “Life After Love” and “Seducing Doctor Lewis”.
Scott said there’s a need for being compassionate towards immigrants and to understand their situation.
“It is not a political film, but surely we have something to say in the film and that is — if you consider these immigrants simply a different version of yourself, the world will be a better place. I want to say that please have little more empathy towards the other human being.”
The film features Bérénice Bejo, Erin Moriarty, Barkhad Abdi and Indian actress Amruta Sant along with Dhanush. Its story starts from India and the central character then travels to various countries like Paris, Rome, Libya and England.
According to Scott, shooting in different countries with local crews and actors was a big task, but the most important factor was to capture the very essence of each country’s culture and the distinct elements.
“India is different from London… the visuals are different and the locations impact the narrative and the characters. For example, in the sequence I shot in India, the colours are so vibrant as opposed to the sequence I shot in England… That difference is also coming across in the character,” Scott explained.
With most foreign filmmakers tending to stereotype Indian characters and landscape, asked how he has ensured being different, Scott said: “For me, the tone of the movie is a fable, it is a metaphor. So, each one of these countries that we visited is an archetype — whether we are showing France, Italy or India… We have done it in a playful way and therefore it is archetype, and not stereotype.
“Here, in the story, we are showing a Fakir, and because we are giving the character of the Fakir a very interesting story, a different dimension, a substance, the character is no longer a stereotype, it becomes an archetype.”
“The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir” is releasing in India on June 21.
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at [email protected])