A NIGHT OF KNOWING NOTHING
A film by Payal Kapadia
2021, 90 minutes
Through fictional love letters found in a cupboard at the Film and Television Institute of India, we meet L, a film student writing to her estranged lover while he is away. Gradually were immersed in the drastic changes taking place at the school and in the lives of young people across the country as they take to the streets to protest widespread discrimination.
In her debut film, Payal Kapadia deftly merges reality with fiction, weaving together archival footage with student protest videos to create a vital tapestry of the personal and the political. With its dreamlike editing rhythms and a revelatory use of sound, A Night of Knowing Nothing is both an essential document of contemporary India and a nostalgic look at youth fighting the injustice of their time.
Subjects & Collections
2022 Anthropology Asian Studies Cinema Studies Directed by Women Political Science Sociology World History
Festivals & Awards
Winner - Oeil d'Or (Best Documentary), Cannes Film Festival
Winner - Amplify Voices Award, Toronto International Film Festival
Winner - Emerging Cinematic Vision Award, Camden International Film Festival
Winner - Altered States Competition, Mar del Plata Film Festival
Official Selection - New York Film Festival
Official Selection - Busan International Film Festival
Official Selection - IDFA
Official Selection - Viennale
Official Selection - FID Marseille
Official Selection - DOC NYC
"The best film of the year."
-Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune
"One of the best student films ever made...imbue[d] with a sense of history unfolding in the moment."
-Siddhant Adlakha, Indiewire
"Foregrounds cinema itself as a site of resistance."
-Michael Sicinski, MUBI Notebook