Traveling in train is one of the most cinematic experience. Instead of moving images, here, we’ve people moving against the infinite canvas of nature. In general class, thousands of passengers are clumped together in a small compartment, standing arse to arse. Traveling in train can be exhausting and at times, discomforting. But there are moments of beauty and inspiration, where secret mechanisms of human nature are laid bare. The only rule of the train is, ‘keep moving’, and the same applies to life. The Unreserved goes beyond the railroads, beyond those lush green fields and sun-drenched landscapes, to capture the struggle of working class passengers who just want to be treated like humans.
In March 2016 three nomads from Camera and Shorts traveled around the India unreserved in train for 17 days and interacted with hundreds of people. Thier interaction with passengers is recorded and edited into one-hour documentary. This journey is not about places, it’s about people, a man living under shadow of his elder brother, a woman who couldn’t pursue her dreams, a father fighting for the life of his daughter, an old man mimicking animals. Most of the passangers in general coach are working class people who lead dull and impoverished lives. Train is leading weary people back to their home.For some, it’s begining of a new journey. the film tackels many social issues, such as caste system , dowry, girl child abortion, and domestic violence. Everyone is surprisingly candid in front of camera, credit goes to Samarth for making them feel at home. Some stories make you chuckle, while other leave you with a lump in throat.
The Unreserved depicts that our boundries are imaginary, but our emotions are universal. ‘Leveaing Home’ track by Indian Ocean perfectly blends in and captures the frenzy of travelling in train. Samarth Mahajan, who also directed Kazwa- A Milion Lanterns , shows great potential as a filmmaker. Anady Athaley has also done a fabulous job by editing 40 hours of raw footage into one hour documentary.
Watch The Unreserved full movie on YouTube.