Aparna Sen’s The Rapist is set to have its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival. The festival organisers announced on Monday that the film will be screened in the ‘A Window on Asian Cinema’ section.
It is also nominated for the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award honouring contemporary Asian cinema, which will be announced during the closing ceremony on October 15.
The 26th edition of the South Korean film festival will be held from October 6 to October 15.
Featuring actors Konkona Sen Sharma, Arjun Rampal, and Tanmay Dhanania, in the lead roles, The Rapist narrates the story of an incident that suddenly and completely disrupts the comfortable life of a couple, who are both professors and anti-death penalty activists, and follows their lives after the incident, as per the festival’s official synopsis.
“Apart from trying to explore the reasons why our society turns out rapists in such numbers, and looking into the inequalities in our social system that are responsible for giving rise to criminals, what drew me to this story, was the psychology of the three protagonists,” National Award-winning filmmaker Sen said in a statement.
She added that the film also brings face-to-face two sides of the country: “the India that lives in urban slums with its age-old beliefs, and educated urbane India with its ‘progressive’ value systems.”
The film explores not only how the incident affects the survivors and perpetrators of the crime, but also delves into how one’s idealistic views are drastically altered when the truth hits uncomfortably close to home, as per the press release.
It is produced by Applause Entertainment in association with Quest Films. Known for backing series such as Criminal Justice and Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, The Rapist marks Applause Entertainment’s first feature film production.
The Rapist additionally marks the reunion of the mother-daughter duo, Aparna Sen and Konkona Sen Sharma, who have earlier worked on several award-winning films, including Mr. And Mrs. Iyer, which was also showcased at various film festivals.
Sen, who began her career as an actor, made her directorial debut in 1981 with the English film 36 Chowringhee Lane, that won the Golden Eagle – the Best Feature Film award – at the Manila International Film Festival and the Golden Lotus National Award in India for Best Direction. Her other notable works as a director include Paromita’r Ek Din, Arshinagar, The Japanese Wife and Ghawre Bairey Aaj.