the theatre of Ratan Thiyam

[Documentary; India; 2002]
[52 min; Colour; Manipuri with English Subtitles]

Some Roots Grow Upwards is shot in the city of Imphal in Manipur, a region ravaged by violence and insurgency. Against this backdrop, it explores the work of acclaimed theatre director Ratan Thiyam.

For over 25 years now, Ratan Thiyam has been creating a theatre that is as visually compelling as it is intellectually stimulating. His theatre is steeped in the traditional performing arts of his home state, Manipur. But while his aesthetic influences are traditional, his concerns are intensely modern. His plays reflect upon the socio-political crisis gripping the region, the youth unrest, war and violence; at the same time, they also dwell on the larger human condition.

The film seeks insights into the art of Thiyam – in portraits of the city where he works, in the quiet beauty of the terrain, in the violent riots that tore the land apart, in the living traditions that come alive at festive time…

15th UGC CEC Video Awards India:
Best Film (adults) · Technical Excellence (Sound) · Citation for Film on the Arts

HFF Amsterdam, 2005; India Many Faces: Antwerp 2004 & Ghent 2005 (Belgium); Oblo, Lausanne. Switzerland 2004; Vikalp Films for Freedom: Mumbai. Delhi. Bangalore. Chennai. Thiruvananthapuram. Kanpur 2004; Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival 2004; KaraFest Karachi 2004; Small Films… Trichur 2004; PSBT UNESCO Film Festival. Delhi 2003; IVFEST 2003; Crimson Feet Ahmedabad, 2003.

Special Screenings at the National School of Drama, Delhi; Kalanidhi’s Shaniwarwada Dance Festival, Pune; Fordham University, New York.

Directed by Kavita Joshi and Malati Rao
Camera: Shanker Raman; Addl. Camera: Sulekh; Sound: Girjashanker Vohra; Editing: Monica Bhasin & Supratik Roy; Produced by PSBT

Producer's Edit