When the Woods Bloom
Dr. Biju Kumar
India. 2016. 105 min.
Cast: Krishnan Balakrishnan, Prakash Bare, Indrans.
The film is based on the situation in Kerala, where the Indian Government has detained many activists who are in a speech against the government’s fascist and undemocratic activities. The film deals with the clash between the agents of authority and the oppressed in the name of law and security. A special police battalion is deployed by the government to end the Maoist threat (a forbidden left organization) in a tribal village near the forest. The police are forcibly holding a tribal primary school to set up camp. One day, police are looking for some activists in the forest near the school and the police officer who follows a person in the deep forest finds that the person arrested is a woman. He tries to leave the forest with the person arrested, but is lost in the forest. The woman knows the way out but is not willing to show him. Thus, as much as the hunter are stranded in the thicket of the forest. Power, crime, man, woman; the hunter hunted… all this makes the roles reversed and the situation changes.
Known as Dr. Biju, is an Indian homoeopathic doctor turned film director and screenwriter. He is best known for films such as Saira (2005), Veettilekkulla Vazhi (2010), Akasathinte Niram (2012), Perariyathavar (2013), and Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal (2016).
Biju has received three National Film Awards, and his films have been screened at multiple international film festivals.
Biju debuted into films as writer and director with Saira (2005). It was first part of terrorism trilogy and in 2007 premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival. His second film Raman (2008) was selected at Cairo International Film Festival (2009) in the Incredible India category. Veettilekkulla Vazhi (The Way Home; 2010) was last film of the trilogy and earned a National Film Award for best Malayalam film in 2010.
His fourth film Akasathinte Niram (Color of Sky; 2012), was premiered at 15th Shanghai International Film Festival in the International competition section. Biju’s next film, Perariyathavar (Names Unknown, 2014) received two National Film Awards in 2014 for the Best Actor and Best film on Environment conservation, and was screened at the Montreal World Film Festival (2014).
In 2015, he directed Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal (Birds With Large Wings; 2015) which was premiered at United Nations, Geneva as a part of the United Nations Environment Programme, and received National Film Award (2015) for the Best film on Environment conservation. His 2016 film Kaadu Pookkunna Neram (When The Woods Bloom) was premiered at the Eurasia International Film Festival, Asia Pacific Screen Awards, International Film Festival of Kerala, and the Montreal World Film Festival, in 2016.
Biju has served as jury member of the International Film Festival of Kerala (2011), Fajr International Film Festival (2012), National Film Awards (2013), and the 2015 Oscar selection jury member for best foreign language film.