Film Review: ‘Court’

Vira Sathidar (at right) on trial

The movie is simply called Court, and the generalized title is as potent here as it is with Kafka’s nightmare novel The Trial. The storyline follows the process of a specific case in India, but the movie’s reach is big enough to imply that an entire legal apparatus is under indictment. In the early going, a white-bearded folksinger named Narayan Kamble is arrested in mid-performance. (He’s played by non-actor Vira Sathidar, a vivid real-life Pete Seeger type.) The charge against him has something to do with the idea that one of his songs inspired a sewer worker to commit suicide on the job, although there’s zero evidence that the death wasn’t a workplace accident due to hazardous conditions. That Narayan’s songs are acidly anti-government is not mentioned in the prosecution’s case.

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