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Poignant Film Studies Greed, Climate Change Through Lives Of Mumbai Fishermen

India-West Staff Reporter

LOS ANGELES, CA – Director Sarvnik Kaur’s latest documentary, ‘Against the Tide,’ dives deep into the lives of Rakesh and Ganesh, two indigenous fishermen from Mumbai, grappling with the challenges brought on by environmental decline. This poignant film highlights their friendship and the contrasting approaches they take to fishing, as Rakesh adheres to traditional methods while Ganesh explores modern technology.

Set against the backdrop of an increasingly adversarial sea, intensified by the looming threat of climate change, ‘Against the Tide’ portrays the daily struggles of these fishermen as they endeavor to support their families. The documentary captures intimate moments of their lives, balancing work, family responsibilities, and their divergent fishing techniques.

Rakesh and Ganesh, inheritors of Mumbai’s ancient Koli knowledge system, navigate a world where tradition clashes with modernity. ‘Against the Tide’ poignantly depicts their bond strained by a changing world and a sea increasingly imperiled by environmental degradation.

Kaur’s first feature documentary, ‘A Ballad of Maladies,’ explored the tradition of political resistance in Kashmir through the work of those poets, musicians, and artists who have turned their art into weapons of resistance during periods of heightened state repression and violence in the region. The film was banned from broadcast on the national network but it won India’s 64th National Film Award for Best First Non-Feature Film in 2017, Best Film at the 11th biennial Film South Asia.

Her bio states she strives to tell stories that hide the tension and conflict just beneath the surface of the “normal” and “mundane.” ‘Against the Tide’ couldn’t be more true to that sentiment. How often does a person dining on fish look out at the Arabian sea and think of the fishermen making the meal possible? ‘Against the Tide’ also challenges conventional notions of beauty in cinema, finding its allure in the simplicity of perspective rather than the glossiness of imagery. Shot by Ashok Meena, the film immerses viewers in an ecosystem under threat from corporate greed and the devastating effects of climate change.

The film is set to premiere on POV, the renowned non-fiction series by American Documentary, known for its award-winning documentaries that explore pressing social issues. Recently, its documentary ‘While We Watched’ featuring journalist Ravish Kumar won the prestigious Peabody Award, marking yet another accolade for the series.

Season 37 of POV commences on June 24, featuring weekly episodes on Monday nights on PBS. Audiences can stream the films concurrently on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS App. (Courtesy: India

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