A former activist in the southern India state of Kerala questions the accomplishments of an idealistic life in capable drama “The Path.” Already a popular prize winner at home, work is suited for a long fest road and will play well in regions with sympathetic auds.
In 1957, Kerala had the world’s first democratically elected Communist government. Once a Marxist firebrand in an extreme leftist movement, atheist and failed revolutionary Venu Meron (vet Nedumudi Venu) is now a middle-class teacher married to a devout Catholic (K.P.A.C. Lalitha). Hearing of a former colleague’s suicide, he takes doting daughter Elizabeth (Meera Krishna), apolitical yet inquisitive, on a journey of discovery to an ancestral village. Debut dramatic work from Malayalam documaker Rajiv Vijay Raghavan plays well to the uninitiated, charting a universally understandable crisis of faith and political commitment even as it delves into specific questions of Kerala’s stormy history. Pic’s many kudos include eight Kerala state film awards (including top honors), Fipresci special mention at the Kerala international fest, and the Indira Gandhi award for first film at India’s National Film Awards.