Govindan Aravindan was a visionary director and Kummatty is considered among his greatest work.
Embodying a watershed moment in Indian film history, Govindan Aravindan’s fourth feature is one of the great achievements of the Parallel Cinema, of which Aravindan was a key member—a movement which also included such masters as Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak. A poetic work informed by folklore and early cinema alike, Kummatty tells the tale of a trickster “bogeyman” who descends upon a village in Malabar year after year, drawing children whom he transforms into animals through sorcery. Aravindan’s camera synthesizes mythology and documentary, alchemically conjuring a singular kind of magical realism through the glorious accumulation of sensually photographed details and a delightful array of Méliès-esque cinematic sleights of hand. Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna in association with General Pictures Corporation and the Film Heritage Foundation at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory. Funding provided by the Material World Foundation.