2011, Kolkata, the Left parties have been voted out of power after three decades. And yet, at the surface ‘nothing’ seemingly happens. ‘Deep6’ delves deeper into the personal and political world of a young solitary woman, and narrates Mitul’s story through haunting imageries, an evocative urban landscape, a dense sound design, and meditative long takes. Mitul strides through multiple lives, and encounters many ghosts – the living, the dead, and the undead. Mitul’s ‘ex-boyfriend’, Arka, returns, since he would neither let go of the relationship nor their aborted political dream. Also, her deceased grandmother is back, and watches TV all day. Granny tells many tales of her lost homeland — Bangladesh. Enduring ‘gaslighting’ by the intellectual big-brothers, and moving between past, present and a possible future, Mitul radiates like a flame in the abyss, even when she walks alone into a restaurant, through the city and inside a cinema. On a rainy night, as Arka stands below her balcony, can Mitul turn a new leaf and step into the future? ‘Deep6’ is an experience of the city and of our quandaries, caught in the cabinet of times.
I made ‘Deep6’ because this story about personal predicament and political impasse was gnawing at me – for a decade – and in time it had to be articulated in the midst of many Kolkata chronicles. The screenplay evolved like a stream as I relived our experiences of the city, its neighbourhoods, peoples, radical strife, and the shifts. At one level, it is a straightforward anecdote about us – women – who shared a political dream and endured intellectual ‘dadas’ (big-brothers); at another level, it progressively became an account about collective desires, dilemmas, oversights, and vulnerabilities. It’s difficult to describe how the spectre of unresolved past and images of indefinite future came to haunt the filmic-space, but there is no other way that this story could be told. I selected the soundscape, the visual-graph and shot on locations to generate this movement between memory and imaginings, and to create an impossible story about the everyday of a woman in which the personal meets the political, and realism bleeds into horror. For me ‘Deep6’ is a battleground of ‘love, death, desire and despair’.