A Night of Knowing Nothing

Payal Kapadia


05.10 - 19:30 | 08.10 - 17:30


Poster US - A Night of Knowing Nothing

Year: 2021
Country: India, France
Length: 96 min
Language: Bengali, Hindi
Subtitles: Spanish, English


Director: Payal Kapadia
Producer: Ranabir Das, Thomas Hakim, Julien Graff
Screenwriter: Payal Kapadia, Himanshu Prajapati
Cinematographer: Ranabi Das
Editor: Ranabi Das
Sound: Moinak Bose, Romain Ozanne
World Sales: Square Eyes

A university student in India writes letters to her estranged lover, while he is away. Through these letters, we get a glimpse into the drastic changes taking place around her. Merging reality with fiction, dreams, memories, fantasies and anxieties, an amorphous narrative unfolds.

Followed by a recorded interview with the director.

Why must you see it?

The possibility of cinema, love and revolution – a vast theme in history, which gains a new breath in this singular and profoundly contemporary debut feature. Inviting the epistolary format, updating the images of masters like Satyajit Ray and Ritwick Gathak, creating testimony to student protests against the politics of nationalist Narendra Modi, A Night of Knowing Nothing is a work of profound alliance with cinema as a form of resistance and a sensitive understanding of the flow of history. Using diverse materials with glare, this is a film at once sensual and urgent between the love of youth and direct action that transforms the world.

Cíntia Gil
MajorDocs programmer

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Payal Kapadia

Payal Kapadia is a Mumbai based filmmaker and artist. She studied Film Direction at the Film & Television Institute of India. Her short films Afternoon Clouds and And What Is The Summer Saying premiered respectively at the Cinéfondation and the Berlinale. She is a Berlinale Talents alumna and participated 2019 at the Cinéfondation – Résidence du Festival de Cannes. Her first feature length film A Night of Knowing Nothing was selected for Director’s Fortnight, Cannes 2021 where it won the Golden Eye Prize for Best Documentary. Her next project, All We Imagine As Light, which received support from CICLIC, Hubert Bals Fund & PILF Arts Fund is currently in development.

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