Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane

Year: 2014
Running Time: 116
Color Type: Color
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Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane


“India's Oscar entry, COURT by Chaitanya Tamhane, is a masterpiece - a work of the deepest empathy, sublime in its construction.”

–Joshua Oppenheimer, director of ACT OF KILLING

Winner of top prizes at the Venice and Mumbai film festivals, Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court is a quietly devastating, absurdist portrait of injustice, caste prejudice, and venal politics in contemporary India. An elderly folk singer and grassroots organizer, dubbed the “people’s poet,” is arrested on a trumped-up charge of inciting a sewage worker to commit suicide. His trial is a ridiculous and harrowing display of institutional incompetence, with endless procedural delays, coached witnesses for the prosecution, and obsessive privileging of arcane colonial law over reason and mercy. What truly distinguishes Court, however, is Tamhane’s brilliant ensemble cast of professional and nonprofessional actors; his affecting mixture of comedy and tragedy; and his naturalist approach to his characters and to Indian society as a whole, rich with complexity and contradiction. —New Directors/New Films



ENGROSSING... There are courtroom dramas, and then there’s COURT, Chaitanya Tamhane’s impressive debut, which flays alive India’s justice system while commenting on class, education and access to power. Managing to be both extremely rational and extremely humane, the film works so well thanks to an intelligent, superbly understated script and a feel for naturalism that extends beyond mere performance.

Biting and devastating, Court is one of the real standouts of this year's New Directors/New Films.

What starts as an absurdist comedy soon blooms into a searing evisceration of India’s legal system.

Critics Pick! The wheels of justice grind slowly and mercilessly in “Court,” Chaitanya Tamhane’s quiet, devastating critique of the antiquated Indian legal system.

Critics Pick! Court is one of the strongest debut features in years.

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