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Malayalam film ‘Jallikattu’ is India’s official entry to International Feature Film category for the Oscars

Malayalam film Jallikattu directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery is India’s official entry to the Best International Feature Film category of the 93rd Academy Awards. The film is about the violence and depravity that lurks just beneath the surface of everyday life. In Jallikattu, this side of human nature is revealed when a buffalo escapes just as it’s about to be slaughtered. Chaos ensues as the animal runs amok and with everyone in the village chasing after it, social order is upended, old feuds come bubbling to the surface and all pretence of civilisation is swept aside.

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It needs mention here that the film beat out 26 other films, including The Disciple, Shakuntala Devi, Chhapaak, Eeb Allay Ooo!, Serious Men, Bulbbul and Gunjan Saxena. It was chosen for its depiction of the “raw side of human beings, that we are worse than animals,” said Rahul Rawail, chairman of Film Federation of India jury which selected the film.

Set in Kerala’s hilly Idukki district, the 2019 film is based on the 2015 short story Maoist by S Hareesh, who won the prestigious JCB Prize for Literature this year for his novel Moustache (original Malayalam title Meesha). Jallikattu has been widely praised for its direction and the lead performances by Antony Varghese and Chemban Vinod Jose. While making the announcement, Rawail also praised the film’s technical aspects and production values.

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