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The Cloud Messenger

dir. Rahat Mahajan
India 2022, 152’
subtitles: Polish and English

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Polish premiere
Theatrical Screenings
We 16 Nov, 20:30
Kinoteka 2
Kinoteka 2
Fr 18 Nov, 15:00
Online Availability
16 Nov, 10:00 – 4 Dec
Additional Materials
Awards and festivals
World premiere: IFF Rotterdam 2022
India 2022
Duration: 152’
director: Rahat Mahajan
screenplay: Rahat Mahajan
cinematography: Rahat Mahajan, Anil Pingua
editing: Rahat Mahajan, Bina Paul
music: Nikhel Kumar Mahajan
cast: Ritvik Tyagi, Ahalya Shetty, Raj Zutshi, Kapila Venu, Rajeevan Peesappilly, Lalita Shivani, Sadanand Bhasi
producer: Sanjay Singh, Rahat Mahajan, Nalin Agarwal
production: Mahamudra Collective, Sanjay Singh Films
language: English, Sanskrit, Malayalam
colouration: colour

Film description

A boarding school at the foot of the Himalayas. Its everyday rhythm is set by the stern discipline the students must strictly submit to. In these circumstances, sensitivity and gentleness are hard to come by, but the photography class seems to provide a refuge from the daily drill. This is where the doomed romance of two students, Jaivardhan and Tarini, begins – their previous incarnations belonged to the ghosts of lovers stuck between photographs.

This is how the colonial era in India is portrayed by debuting director Rahat Mahajan who creates a mythological parable. The Cloud Messenger is an epic story about fantasy intertwining with the real world. Mahajan proposes a tale, rich in meaning and visual layers, in which the classic storytelling model is replaced by a number of performative measures. The Indian director uses stunning costumes and traditional theater forms from Kerala to create a unique, nuanced cosmology. Instead of words, we get gestures, dance, and the precisely recreated costumes and face-masks linked to the traditional Kutiyattam, Theyyam, and Kathakali art forms. Mahajan uses the poetics of a dream, immersing in it not only the story of a romance, but also the reinterpretation of tradition – in-between school halls, dream and reality, the real and the imagined.

Łukasz Mańkowski

Rahat Mahajan

Director, Writer and Co-producer. In his debut The Cloud Messenger, he was also in charge of editing, cinematography, and production design. He studied media production in Mumbai where he started making short films and documentary projects. He worked with Vishal Bhardwaj and was later in charge of heading visual promotions of several acclaimed Bollywood films. In 2012, he moved to LA to study film and his short film  Istifa was a national finalist for the Student Academy Awards. After a few years, he returned to India to work with Amit Dutta. Mahajan is the founder of the production company Mahamudra Collective. His debut is a part of a series that will include seven titles, but The Cloud Messenger itself took 12 years to make.


2022 Posłaniec z chmur / The Cloud Messenger

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