It was after a year-long tussle with the CBFC, over Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla’s political documentary An Insignificant Man, it got a theatrical release about a month ago. The film charts Arvind Kejriwal’s journey from his days as an activist of the anti-corruption movement to the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party and their first election in 2013.
Filmed over a year and a half ago, the duo found backing from director Anand Gandhi during the initial days. Running out of money soon after, the co-directors managed to crowd-source the film’s budget where they raised six times the amount of their original target. The film even won grants from around the world and went on to premiere at the TIFF, 2016.
When the makers sent the film for certification for a theatrical release across India – the CBFC under Pahlaj Nihalani – asked the directors to get NOCs from the politicians depicted in the film, namely: Arvind Kejriwal, Narendra Modi and Sheila Dixit. In the same period, as the film premiered at several film festivals from around the world, it didn’t get a release in its own country. And finally when the film released on Nov 17 this year, it ran to packed shows in the select theatres.
Considering how few theatres the film was shown in, the directors after partnering with VICE, have now made it available for free-streaming on YouTube.
Watch it here:
Here are 5 reasons why the film is a mandatory-watch:
- No other documentary has been granted access to a political party, before this. And that’s why this is ground-breaking stuff.
- It gives us a peek into how documentary functions, the film shows us the security under which EVM machines are distributed across polling booths.
- It offers us a human portrait of Arvind Kejriwal – the man, behind all the ideals and memes.
- The film has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, for mirroring vigilante politics which has become a phenomenon across the world.
- Debutante filmmakers Khushboo Ranka & Vinay Shukla do not offer any voice-over in the movie, preferring to capture the conversation as it happened and let the audience make what they want of it.