The 50th edition of IFFI was held from 20 to 28 November 2019 at Goa. Here is one of the best picks from the festival:
A timely, socially relevant film that carries communal and social overtones in its universality of appeal and impact. Petrunija attends interviews listlessly as she knows no one will offer her a job with her history major which nobody wants. So, on her return journey from one such futile interview, she gets caught in the midst of the Epiphany festival ritual where men have to dive into the river and retrieve the cross
thrown into it by the bishop.
On impulse, Petrunija jumps into the river along with men, but fate had it that she should get hold of the cross before anyone else. The entire community including the bishop is in shock. The men are angry and they cry for her blood. Pandemonium breaks out and a police case is registered against Petrunija for her misdemeanor. She is even put under arrest and the cross confiscated. The bishop thinks it is the end of the world as he views this as the ultimate blasphemous deed against the will of God.
There is high drama as Petrunija is unrelenting. Eventually, the court rules in Petrunija’s favour and awards the cross to her possession. But, strangely, after this legal victory, she disarms the entire community by handing over the cross to a distraught bishop. The film immediately brings to mind the Sabarimala issue which remains unresolved yet. This visionary social commentary is the creation of celebrated Macedonian film maker Teona Strugar Mitevska.