Cancer Katha

By Rajrita Chattopadhyay

The documentary is based on a breast cancer survivor, who also documented her own story that is Vasudha Joshi, who was a TV journalist. The film opens with a folklore singer, who is Vasudha’s visitor, saying that he heard in a train he was boarded on from Shantiniketan that “Vasudha died”, knowing this, Vasudha confirmed that, she died. Because, the cancer was a rebirth for her. She was someone else before the disease, and now after fighting back, she’s someone else, who is more strong and powerful. Thus, the film try’s to show that the filmmaker sees death differently and also gives courage to fight back in life to viewers who are cancer patients/survivors. Through this film, she tries to change or rather giver her own definition and version of what is death to her or for her. She, also puts emphasis on how important the role Cinema played in her life. From the day she was diagnosed with cancer, she was sure that she wanted to document her disease, which is analogous to another documentary filmmaker, Richard Leacock, who is also documented in the same film where he shares his experience of how he filmed the concept of death by living with a patient of AIDS.

Vasudha Joshi

Talking about the visuals and the sound track, they were equally impactful as was when the filmmaker was speaking. The use of symbols like folk-songs and poems, quotes, showed that the motif of the documentary was death. Also, through this film, the filmmaker shows her desire to fight and win the battle of Cancer, and later after surviving, how beautifully she interprets that this is her rebirth and now she has discovered a new side of her, which she never knew existed. 

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