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An Excavator of Images short documentary review

★★★

Directed by: Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi

Written by: Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi

 
Poster for An Excavator of Images showing photographer at work.
Poster for An Excavator of Images

A documentary about the life and accomplishments of contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad.


Azad's creative photography is mostly autobiographical and focuses primarily on culture, modern history, politics, eroticism and gender. His work is regarded as philosophical and experimental and has been exhibited in India and abroad.


This interesting documentary was filmed in locations of ancient seaports and its content is rather enlightening and intriguing. It includes many black-and-white photos that were taken by Azad and his talent and professionalism are clearly visible in them. These pictures are of various individuals and statues. There are also photographs of animals, such as goats, elephants, cows and cats. The footage shows Azad himself in action, operating photographic equipment and setting up shots. Watching this great artist work is a privilege. There is also a great deal of footage of crowds engaging in traditional celebrations, musicians playing instruments and people walking barefoot over lit charcoal.


It should be noted that there is a sequence that involves a goat being put down and some viewers may find it upsetting.


Lakshmi also provides the narration and her voice-over is clear and informative.


As filming took place in India, Azad's country of birth, the documentary provides an image of life there, by showing Indian people, traditional clothing and ceremonies and statues that are significant. The viewers will also have the pleasure of listening to some Indian music during the ceremonies.


Photography is a highly respectable and creative art and it is fascinating observing artists from around the world utilizing their talent and efforts in order to make a career in this sector, developing their own ideas and style. This is what this short documentary offers. It introduces the audience to an individual who has a great passion for their profession and it is interesting to learn about him and his work.

 

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