×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Afspa, 1958

"AFSPA, 1958" has a fury that cannot be dismissed. Comprised almost exclusively of incendiary footage, including acts of self-immolation, the ongoing campaign for self-determination by residents of Indian state Manipur is a frequently horrifying record of extreme civil disobedience.

Although flawed by conventional standards of balanced documentary filmmaking, “AFSPA, 1958” has a fury that cannot be dismissed. Comprised almost exclusively of incendiary footage, including acts of self-immolation, the ongoing campaign for self-determination by residents of Indian state Manipur is a frequently horrifying record of extreme civil disobedience. Overlong at 77 minutes, Haobam Paban Kumar’s docu could easily be cut to an hour running time and offered to willing broadcasters.

Indian Union’s easternmost state enjoyed barely two years of post-colonial independence before annexation in 1949. Title stands for Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958, which is blamed for proliferation of deaths and rapes claimed to have been perpetrated by members of security forces. Action chronicled here is the sustained shock wave following the 2004 death of local woman Th. Manorama Devi. The truly startling sight of naked women protesting in daylight outside army HQ with banners reading “Indian Army Rapes Us” is just for starters in a catalog of all-embracing community protest and brutal backlash. While the Indian central government’s case is barely heard, Kumar’s clearly non-embedded camera captures images to jolt even the most hardened viewers.

Afspa, 1958

India

Production: An Oli-Pictures production. (International sales: Oli-Pictures, Imphal, India.) Produced by Haobam Paban Kumar, B.M. Sunzu Sharma. Directed, written by Haobam Paban Kumar.

Crew: Camera (color, Beta SP), Saikhom Ratan; editor, Sankha. Reviewed at Munich Film Festival (Intl. Program), July 20, 2006. Running time: 77 MIN.

More Film

  • Sam Mendes

    Sam Mendes' World War I Drama '1917' Set for Awards-Season Launch on Christmas 2019

    Universal Pictures has given an awards-season release date of Dec. 25, 2019, to Sam Mendes’ World War I drama “1971.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is producing “1917” through its DreamWorks Pictures brand. “1917” will open in limited release on Christmas Day then go wide two weeks later on Jan. 10, 2020. Mendes wrote the script [...]

  • Ventana Sur Queer Latin Film Panel

    Ventana Sur: Panel Talks Merits, Setbacks in Latin Queer Cinema

    BUENOS AIRES — Four venerable professionals from the cinema world joined on Monday evening for Queer Cinema In Latin America, a frank discussion on Latin America’s role within the queer filmscape for Ventana Sur’s Industry conference series held at the UCA campus in Buenos Aires. Touching on advancements in character arc and notable achievements in [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez 'Absolutely' Wants to Direct Film and Television

    Jennifer Lopez epitomizes the phrase “she’s done it all” — but there’s still more that the superstar would like to do. Lopez recently directed her first music video, “Limitless,” the track featured on her new rom-com “Second Act,” and it seems the multi-hyphenate has caught the directing bug. “Absolutely, absolutely,” Lopez responded when asked by [...]

  • Daniel Craig

    Rian Johnson's Murder Mystery 'Knives Out,' Starring Daniel Craig, Set for Thanksgiving Release

    Lionsgate has bought distribution rights to Daniel Craig’s murder mystery “Knives Out” and set a Thanksgiving release date of Nov. 27. MRC financed “Knives Out,” directed by Rian Johnson — best known for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Lionsgate will also distribute the pic worldwide. The movie came together during the Toronto International Film Festival [...]

  • The favourite Movie

    Olivia Colman to Be Honored by Palm Springs Festival for 'The Favourite'

    “The Favourite” star Olivia Colman will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award by the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The award will be presented by her co-star Emma Stone at the festival’s awards gala on Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival, now in its 30th year, runs from Jan. 3 to [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    Motion Pictures Academy Announces Scientific and Technical Awards

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced nine scientific and technical achievements, represented by 27 individual recipients, to be honored at the annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation Feb. 9 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. In addition, Curtis Clark will be receiving the John A. Bonner Award for his service [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content