In November 2012, Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla, collaborators on the film Ship of Theseus and young film makers from Mumbai, (“Which is to say that for the most part I have been as far removed from politics as possible,” quips Ranka) came to Delhi out of sheer curiosity about the anti-corruption movement spreading its arms within the capital. The idea was to engage with politics on the ground level with a “fly-on-the wall approach”. What followed was a look at the birth and working of the Aam Aadmi Party.
Begun as a personal project, the documentary on the party was filmed for a year till the Delhi elections. It is now in post-production stage. The film makers are editing over 400 hours of footage into a 100-minute documentary titled Proposition for a Revolution, produced by Anand Gandhi. “At first, conversations and debates would abound on daily playbacks with friends, until slowly and steadily, it began to dawn on us that the story really was much bigger than what we had anticipated,” says Shukla. “We realised that it wasn’t just our friends who were having these debates; everybody was talking politics. Everybody had an opinion. And everybody had questions, just like we did. That’s when we realised that we could make a film here which would contribute to this dialogue.”
Ranka and Shukla were allowed access into grassroot campaigns and manifesto meetings where outsiders usually weren’t, and their shooting techniques focussed on capturing the political process by blending into the background. However, requests to other parties for such access proved futile. “We wanted to expand the canvas of the film to include other parties and we approached them too,” says Ranka. “It would have been great to show the contrast between different war rooms, how one party combats the other. But we didn’t get permissions. However, we did shoot public events of other parties.” While Arvind Kejriwal may be the face of the party, according to the general population, she goes on to explain how their focus “is on the process, not the person.”
The trailer for the film released last week with a global pitch to crowdfund its post-production through the website www.prop4rev.com. After achieving 20,000 views and 10 per cent of the target funds within the first couple of days itself, Ranka and Shukla are hoping to release the film in theatres later this year.