Peepli [Live] going to the Oscars!

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Peepli [Live], the Aamir Khan produced, Anusha Rizvi directed film, has been making waves all over the world and at home. Not only has the satire about farmer’s suicide been given rave reviews from critics and fans in India, the film was universally applauded at several acclaimed film festivals including Sundance and Cannes. Now it can add another mark of distinction because Peepli [Live] is India’s official selection to go to the Oscars for the Best Foreign Film Category. There are still more steps before we will hear “And the nominations are…” because this is just the first step as India’s entry, it still needs to make the shortlist for the final nomination. There can be over 65 nations who send films for the Best Foreign Language Film but only 5 get nominated.

Synopsis: In a tiny corner of a giant country a poor farmer is about to lose everything. His brother has a plan to win it all back!

Peepli [Live] is a satire, which revolves around a villager from Central India called Natha,his brother Budhia and their family. The family is about to lose their land because they are unable to repay a loan, when, they hear of a government programme which offers the family of any farmer committing suicide a compensation of rupees 100,000 ($2000). The older brother convinces his sibling into agreeing to commit suicide. This sets in motion a chain of events which finds Natha in the eye of a storm. The local big wigs, the state government, high ranking bureaucrats, federal ministers and the national media all become stakeholders in the mad circus that erupts.

This is the story of India today. Rural society, the bureaucracy, media, politics and life…

This is the fourth of Aamir’s films to be India’s pick for the Academy Awards. The first was the epic Lagaan, in 2002, which actually made the short list. And like Lagaan, Peepli [Live] is about rural issues in India. Aamir talked to Bollyspice about the difference between the two films. “They both are films about rural life in India but the difference is that Lagaan is more larger than life; a fairytale like story like an Asterix comics. But Peepli [Live] is more realistic. It’s very real; the setting, the actors, the performances — they are all very real. The other difference is that Lagaan is essentially a drama while Peepli [Live] is a satire. So there is a lot of humor; it’s a fairly funny script. It’s also very thought provoking and quite heartbreaking towards the end. It’s a different genre of film.”

Aamir posted on Facebook,”Am very happy that Peepli [Live] has been chosen to represent India at the Oscars. My congratulations to Anusha and the entire team. Its always a great honour to get to represent your country on a world platform and I would like to thank the Film Federation of India for considering the film worthy.”

Congratulations to the Peepli [Live] producers, director, cast and crew!

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