Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam / The World is Family

Year2023 Duration96 min. Projection formatDCP ColourColour LanguageEnglish, hindi and marathi DirectorAnand Patwardhan SoundAlex Lane MusicPhilippe Battikha, Étienne Lebel, Matthew Wolkow FestivalsIDFA International Film Festival of Amsterdam 2023, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2023, Toronto International Film Festival 2023

Spanish premiere


The filmmaker grew up in a family that had fought for India’s freedom but rarely spoken about it. Today, as majoritarian ideologues rewrite India’s history, what started as a home movie has become more precious than mere personal nostalgia.


Already the title of the film suggests an inversion. Many documentaries try to show that each family is its own world, although it is less common that the privatised concept of the nuclear family is expanded to include everybody. “The whole world” here encompasses the tumultuous story of India and Pakistan over the last hundred years. The film-maker’s family —his grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, all their friends…— had biographies which overlapped with Gandhi, Tagore, Nehru, Krishnamurti. Family ties loosen to bring in the history of a century which attempted to leave the caste society behind. This was quite literally a political family.

The structure of the film shows this generalised infiltration of History. It is not only that historical tales are inserted among biographical family episodes, sometimes as a digression, but that the film as a whole is approached as a cycle of decline and regeneration. The old-age and sickness of the film-maker’s parents makes him get over his shyness of filming them, without yet realising that this same gesture will reintegrate them and project them onto the current issues of their country. It will return them to the world.

Manuel Asín

In the same program

Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes Audiovisuales Acción Cultural Española Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU

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