Nero's Guest Movie Analysis

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UNDERSTANDING SOCIETY, CULTURE &IDENTITY MOVIE REVIEW Name of the movie: Nero’s Guests Release year: 2009 Director: Deepa Bhatia Duration: 56 minutes Submitted by: Anjali Singla, APCP There has been a 26% increase in farmer suicides since 2011. India, where 60% of the population is working in the agricultural sector. It would be an understatement to call it a sad state of affairs as it is just brutal – a vicious cycle of debt, poor policies and lack of concern driving our farmers to commit suicide. The documentary, ‘Nero’s Guests’ is a galvanising account of the hardships farmers of Vidharbha, east of Maharashtra, who are struggling with the backlash of liberalisation policies, poor outputs, high debts, lack of governmental aid and no media support. The movie draws from the work of, and features, P Sainath – the author of ‘Everybody Loves a Good Draught’, winner of the Magsaysay award, and former rural affairs editor for the Hindu who has been working towards highlighting the plight of these farmers for over a decade now. The film’s title references the Roman emperor, Nero, infamous for burning convicted slaves and prisoners alive to draw light for an extravagant party he once hosted. P Sainath focuses on the perturbing fact that more than Nero, his guests who chose to enjoy the hospitality rather than objecting to the cruelty were the worse criminals. Touching and hard hitting,
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