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Film Review - Temporary Loss Of Consciousness


Temporary loss of Conciousness by Monica Bhasin Producer/Director/ Editor: Monica Bhasin
Music: Jyoti Swaroop Pande

‘Temporary loss of consciousness’ alludes to the
recurring displacement of populations in the Indian
subcontinent from the time of Partition (1947) to the
present. The film explores the ideas of borders,
boundaries, limits and forbidden spaces that generate
vast expanses of wastelands of human emotion and
action. Treated as a poetic essay the film traces
these ideas through the voices of those that live in
exile in the Indian subcontinent. It has been shot in
New Delhi apart from the borders of India - Pakistan
and India and Bangladesh.

Falling in the genre of Experimental Documentary, the
film constructs meaning through juxtaposition of
several elements like found footage of
Independence/Partition, constructed narratives spoken
in the respective languages of the affected populace
and abstractions of abandoned spaces or spaces of
refuge. Characters from ‘Toba Tek Singh’, a short
story by Saadat Hasan Manto, are woven into the
structure and the spoken narratives are poetic in
character, speaking of longing and belonging, home and
honour, loss and betrayal, boundaries and crossings.

This film emerged, not just from a desire to express
the trauma and disjunction of people experiencing
political borders, but to express it in the way I
visually felt it to be most resonant of the emotional

Director’s Biography
Monica Bhasin is a filmmaker/editor who graduated from
the Department of Film Video and New Media at the
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA
in 2004. She is previously a graduate of the Mass
Communication Research Center, Jamia Millia Islamia
University (1992) New Delhi, India. For the last
twelve years she has mostly been working as an editor
for several documentary films in Delhi like ‘Present
Imperfect Future Tense’, ‘Born at Home’, ‘In the Eye
of the Fish’, ‘Some Roots Grow Upwards’, ‘Autumn’s
Final Country’ etc. Monica started making her own
videos at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
in 2001. Her first two short pieces as a student were
‘Room’ and ‘Seams Elsewhere’. She has just completed
her first non-fiction film called ‘temporary loss of
consciousness’. The film explores displacement and the
futility of borders in the conditions created by
Partition of the Indian continent during and after
1947. Monica is currently based in New York.

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