The camera moves through a wintry forest. Then, text appears on the screen describing a white tiger that the people worship. That tiger apparently is a metaphor for police violence that took place in different times within India’s recent history. There’s the one even that some viewers might know more about like the violence against people adhering to the Sikh faith that took place in 1984, which is basically a genocide. There are more obscure events, though, like the 2019 attack on a library for Muslims. There are the arrests of children between 1975 to 1977. And lastly, an event that took place in 2020.
A conventional documentary would have retold such events through archive footage or interviews. There are presumably no records of these atrocities by a government who wants to hide such things. That’s fair. The Blind Rabbit, then, makes a baffling depiction to depict such events through intertext and… images of rusty pipes? I’m being generous in writing that the images reinforce the idea of an India in squalor, but what does that have to do with those atrocities? Impressionistic methods barely make sense in any movie but those moments often follow clarity and realizations. This film doesn’t have those.
The Blind Rabbit explains the tiger metaphor but those connections feel tenuous. Another baffling decision here is to use audio interviews of policemen. They admit to writing their activities in their daily diaries that someone eventually destroys after three years. The film juxtaposes that audio with an image of a flickering street light which, sure. The voices, by the way, do not sound like they were alive in 1975 much less participated in those atrocities. And I’ll chalk up to the fact that voices sometimes don’t age. But those voices, as well as the film itself, don’t have historical weight.
Buy tickets to The Blind Rabbit.