November 1, 2012
Film Review: “Drowned Out”
The way this documentary was filmed shows the people who contributed to the film to living and working alongside the villagers and I found this helped capture the candid interviews and the honest and realistic impact of the way villagers of living in India due to the government dam project. Not only do people have to make a choice of whether they Move to the slums in the city, accept a place at a resettlement site or stay at home and drown. This place is not just a piece of land where they live but it is their home, their identity. This reminds me personally of my connection with Serbia. My family has to leave their homeland because of war and invasion. My family did not see this as moving to a better place, but saw it as their homeland being destroyed. Who they are as people dead in a place that no longer exists like it once had. This is how I see the people in the villagers, they are being forced to say goodbye to a certain part of them, their family, and ancestors forever. In the student presentation relating to the world bank and dams refers to something very important to villagers. Non-material things are what are important to the villagers. After the dam is built, I will drown out the cultural traditions of the villagers, create development of affected communities in isolation, and cultural shift, new lifestyles and attitudes.
The documentary follows the villagers of Jalsindhi. This village is in Madhya Pradesh on the banks of the Narmada River about ten miles upstream from the Sardar Sarovar project. The 76 villages struggle through a battle against the dam. The lead character is Luharia Sonkaria, who is the village’s medicine man, a role that was his father’s and grandfather’s before him. The government provides them no viable alternatives. The government offers unusable land a hundred miles away or a small sum of money in compensation for their river-side land. The film documents hunger...