Birds with Large Wings was screened at the International Environment House on 10 November 2015.
A film by Dr. Bijukumar Damodaran
Maya Movies, Produced by Dr.A.K.Pillai
The film is a partly fictionalized presentation of the great tragedy that occurred in Kasaragod District of Kerala in India, after the aerial spraying of endosulfan, a highly toxic pesticide used on cashew plantations owned by the Plantation Corporation of the Kerala Government. The spraying has affected the people as well as the environment for two and a half decades. This produced disastrous effects on the health of the people especially children, being born with birth defects. The land, the water, the flora and fauna had turned toxic and continue to affect human health even today, after discontinuing this spraying for the past two decades.
The film depicts the after-effects of the pesticide spraying through the eyes of a photographer. His first visit to the area was in a rainy season during 2001. His photographs revealed to the world, the shocking and pathetic state of numerous victims, which gained worldwide attention through this exposure. The photographer visited the area again in summer 2006. In the meanwhile, many of the young victims he had photographed during his earlier visit were dead. Even now, children are being affected with strange and debilitating diseases. In 2011, the Conference of Parties of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants recommended the phase out of endosulfan. A year later, in 2012, the photographer returned to Kasaragod. He realizes that apathy and indifference to the plight of these unfortunate victims still continue and the survivors continue to suffer.
Muralee THUMMARUKUDY, UNEP Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch
Bijukumar DAMODARAN, film Director
Anantha Krishna PILLAI, Producer
Film Screening (12:05-14:00)
Q & A session (14:00-14:30)
with Bijukumar DAMODARAN, film Director & Anantha Krishna PILLAI, Producer
ABOUT BIJUKUMAR DAMODARAN
Dr. Biju is a renowned Director who has won multiple National and International awards. He is a Homoeopathic Medical Doctor by profession and a self-taught filmmaker. His film Saira (2005) brought him International attention and debuted under the Cinema of the World category at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. His fourth feature, AkashathinteNiram (Color of the Sky), was Internationally premiered at Shanghai Film Festival 2012. His fifth film, Perariyathavar (Names Unknown) (2013), won two of India’s National film awards in 2013 for Best Actor and Best Film on Environmental Preservation. The film world premiered at the Montreal Film Festival in 2014. Dr. Biju’s films have been screened at several film festivals and have won multiple awards, including Best Feature Film in the Regions, Best Environmental Film and Best Actor. His latest film, ValiyaChirakullaPakshikal (Birds With Large Wings) 2015 depicting the consequences of pesticide use, has already began receiving positive reviews and has been selected for the Indian Panorama at the India International Film Festival.