HomeNews & Views Foreign Flick Friday: Hindi Festival Favorite Brings a Mystical Side to Family Dynamics

Foreign Flick Friday: Hindi Festival Favorite Brings a Mystical Side to Family Dynamics


We all know the adage: be careful what you wish for.

Writer-director Batul Mukhtiar’s 2013 film Kaphal (also known as Wild Berries) is set in a small village tucked into the tree-lined Indian hills, where two brothers, Makar and Kamru, wait for the return of their father, Kailash. Kailash must work far away in the city to support his family, because there are no suitable jobs for him—or other working-age men, for that matter—in their very rural community.

When he does return to the village, surprises lie in wait for both Kailash and his sons. Their much-anticipated reunion leaves everyone feeling let down and frustrated: not at all as they’d expected, the idealized father seems too strict, the boys too wild and unkempt. The boys decide that the only way to change things is to risk a visit to Pagli Dadi—an exiled witch who may have a magic potion (made from wild berries called “kaphal”) to set things right. Of course, this means that life with change for Pagli Dadi and her granddaughter as well…

{{How can you use films or shows to improve your language skills? See the tips in our inaugural Foreign Flick Friday post.}}

Much appreciated by film festivals as far spread as India, Scandinavia, and the United States, and Swarna Kamal winner of Best Children’s Film at the 61st National Film Awards in India, Kaphal has delighted audiences young and old.1

Some cool trivia to note as you watch: Mukhtiar decided to cast local children—not professional actors—in her film. Of the casting process, she explains: “We had a month-long workshop with almost 90 kids. These are children who have never been to a movie theatre as the nearest one takes a day’s travel.”2

So get the popcorn – it’s movie night! Watch the trailer with us. Then let us know what you think @LeadWLanguages on social media.

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