This year, one of the best films originated in 2003 and lasted less than five minutes. Often, older, or as they say at the Berlinale, “retrospective,” films appear in the Filmfest. For example, this year the Quebec Deluxe section showed eight films, from 1967 to the present.
This surprise short, The God, opens with a beautiful statue of the Hindu God Shiva standing on one foot on a pedestal. He comes to life when a fly lands on one of his eight hands. Slowly he begins to swat at the fly, first with a finger, then with a hand, then with all eight arms, which become hopelessly entangled. In the end Shiva falls from the pedestal, and the fly is eaten by another eight-armed creature, which is obviously superior: a spider. By Russian director Konstantin Bronzit, you can see it under www.youtube.com.
Why didn’t this film about the Hindi God Shiva cause a huge outcry about a religion being insulted or laughed at? Are the Hindus less sensitive about their gods? Shelly Schoeneshoefer says “insults are defined differently depending on the source.” You could also add: depending on the political mood of the time. At any rate, nine years later, The God is still contemporary and was the perfect short to open the Bollywood documentary.