"Trolley Times"

Key information

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
SOAS, University of London
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

About this event

In September 2020, the Indian government passed three acts, known colloquially as farm laws, that sought to reform the way farmers sold their produce to the market. This triggered a series of non-violent protests across the country, with farmers chiefly from Punjab and Haryana marching towards New Delhi demanding a repeal of the laws. Prevented from entering the capital, they set up camps along highways, forming a veritable community that sustained the protests for over a year.

IFFR regular Gurvinder Singh returns to the festival with his first documentary feature "Trolley Times", an unvarnished grassroots record of the protests that borrows its title from the newspaper printed and distributed at the camping site. The farmers recount their grievances directly to the camera, their words conveying a truth absent from state-aligned mainstream media, their timeworn, dignified faces familiar from Singh’s fictional work.

The film, however, accompanies the farmers even after the protests, observing family reunions, the resumption of agricultural work and peacetime domestic life with an unusual candour. Relentless and uncompromising, "Trolley Times" demonstrates its courage not only in cataloguing the protestors’ ardent testimonies, but also in breaking free from established notions of what political documentaries should look like.