India | 2016 | 112 min | Nepali | Director Attending
Shot in the small hill town of Rabong, Sikkim, this multi-narrative drama, which takes place over a single day, concerns a mysterious robbery and four disparate characters. The first, Teacher, who has moved to the region to resolve some pressing emotional issues, encounters two local guys wandering the streets and trying to kill time. The fourth character is the taciturn owner of a billiard club. A series of coincidences places the protagonists at the centre of a stream of mundane events which escalate into high drama. Featuring a largely non-professional cast, the film has a captivating internal rhythm and style which captures the spirit of one of India’s northeast states.
Karma Takapa is a graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, where he specialised in direction and writing. His early films include a series of fiction and documentary shorts which experiment with narrative form and explore spaces, including his home town of Rabong. Karma has also co-directed the Chhattisgarhi-language feature Mor Mann Ke Bharam (2015). “The locations [for Ralang Road] are majorly within my village,” he says, “and that place, for the major part of the year, is covered in fog. Therefore, the place has got a sense of heaviness and because it is always fogged up a lot of people say that it is a very depressing climate. But that’s how I like the place. We wanted to explore places which wouldn’t necessarily come across as beautiful but would be evocative.”