NIEPOKALANOW, Warsaw, Poland — The second film to be screened at the Niepokalanow international film festival is a telefilm from Kerala, south India, entitled Nurunguvettangal (Gems of Light). It narrates a tale of seven nuns and a divorced woman. The film is conceived and produced by the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, (CMC) Province, Irinjalakkuda, Kerala in the context of several controversies regarding the lives of nuns. Some recent developments in the state have affirmed the prejudice of the society toward women choosing religious life.
The film is written and directed by Mr. Leo Thaddeus and shot in Wagamon and suburbs in Idukki district. The film tries to project nuns as human beings with the similar feelings, emotions and conflicts as ordinary women.
“God wants his disciples to love mankind. This is the message of the film,” says Thaddeus, a lay social activist and film maker.
“I do not want to label it a Christian film but as a film that looks deep into the monastic life of certain human characters. The film made for general patronage has also the clergy as its target,” says Thaddeus who entered the tinsel world as an assistant to film director Bhadran.
The film narrates the story of seven nuns, Margaretta, Jain, Rose, Rita, Deepa, Annie Raphel and the Mother Superior, coming from different social and financial backgrounds. Their friendship with Meera, a divorcee, forms the core of the film.
The climax scene has Sr Deepa removing her sacred veil in front of the public to show solidarity with the ailing Meera who loses her hair after chemotherapy.
The film has several well known actresses – Reena Basheer playing Meera, Romy as Sr Deepa, Sandhya as Sr Jain, Asha (Sr Rose), Alice Mathew (Sr Rita), Shobha (Sr Annie Raphel), Santhadevi as Sr Margaretta and Bindu Ramakrishnan as Mother Superior.
The cinematography is done by S G Raman.
Thaddeus’ directorial debut Pachamarathanalil starring Sreenivasan and Padmapriya was released two years ago.
In the Niepokalanow (City of the Immaculate) silver jubilee festival there are 17 2 films and some 40 Radio programmes from 20 countries. Besides feature film, five other categories of the competition are: documentary, educational, television and catechetical amateur films. The festival also features multimedia, radio and YouTube productions.