Maadathy trailer: Depicting the life of an 'unseeable woman'

The official trailer of Leena Manimekalai directorial  ‘Maadathy’  gets a spectacular launch by celebrated influencers from cinema, culture and politics. Minister K K Shailaja Teacher, Manju Warrier, Aishwarya Rajesh, Anjali Menon, Geethu Mohandas, Cheran, Aashiq Abu, PA Ranjith, Vasanta Balan, CS Amuthan, Rima Kallingal,  Neeraj Ghaywan, Tamizhachi Thangapandian MP, NS Madhavan, Rohini, SR Prabhu, TM Krishna, Shobasakthi  were among many others who launched the trailer through their official social media handles. The movie, also written and produced by Leena Manimekalai under the banner of Karuvachy Films, will be released on Neestream on June 24. 

The movie with the tagline “Nobodies do not have Gods; they are Gods” is a coming of age story of an adolescent girl born in an ‘unseeable” caste group in the remote South region of Tamilnadu. Maadathy is an un’fairy’ tale as it speaks of Puthirai Vannars who are forced to wash the clothes of the Dalits, the deceased and the menstruating women who must hide from the rest of society because their sight alone is perceived as contamination. This film is a reflection on gender, caste, and identity, religious beliefs, and violence. 

The trailer is a slice of life on how a wronged woman of a slave caste becomes a goddess. It depicts what it is like being an unseeable woman, living the lowest among the lowest, as a victim to both patriarchy and caste system with a fresh female gaze. 

Leena Manimekalai is renowned for her poetic films deeply concerned about social justice. Her films across genres and lengths are critically acclaimed and had received numerous awards at international film festivals. Goddesses (2009), Sengadal the Deadsea (Cinema Verite 2011), My Mirror is the Door (2012, Cine Poem), White Van Stories (2015, Feature Documentary), and Is it too much to ask (2017, Mockumentary) grounded her as a unique and original voice as an independent filmmaker.

Maadathy had received enormous appreciation from critics and cinephiles at festivals alike including Busan International Film Festival, Kolkata International Film Festival, Latin American FICCI 60, Third Eye Asian Film Festival, Chicago South Asian Film Festival, DC South Asian Film Festival among many others where it was screened. The movie also received FIPRESCI Jury Award, Golden Kailasha for Best Film, Best Actress, and Best Cinematography Awards at Aurangabad International Film Festival, 2020, and was nominated for Les Rimbaud Du Cinema Awards in France. 

Rafiq Ismail and Yavanika Sriram have co-written the screenplay with Leena Manimekalai. Jeff Dolen, Abinandhan Ramanujam, and Karthik Muthukumar share the credits of its immersive cinematography. Maadhathy was initially crowdfunded and later in the post-production stage, Piiyush Singh from Golden Ratio Films, Bhavana Goparaju, and Abinandhan Ramanujam joined as Co-Producers. Ajmina Kassim, Patrick Raj, Semmalar Annam, and Arul Kumar have given life to the lead characters in Maadathy while the ensemble cast is from the community itself. The editing is by Thangaraj and sound designing is by Tapas Nayak. The music is composed by Karthik Raja and the Art Director is Mohana Mahendran. 

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