Controversial filmmaker Q’s new film Garbage was conceived amidst tragedy. Two deaths framed the story—that of his mother’s and his friend, perfume specialist Monica Ghurde. But his grief wasn’t his only inspiration.
“The atmosphere in the country over the last few years has been deeply disturbing as well. More so, the lack of engaged conversations or artworks about the obvious strife we were seeing as a nation,” says the director, who achieved instant notoriety with his first feature, Gandu, in 2010.
“I had initially thought of a more subjective, satirical take on my condition, which was loosely called F***ed. But the general feeling of doom and impending crisis drove the story violently towards reality. We ended up making a serious film about humans as garbage,” he says.
After a world premiere in the Berlin International Film Festival’s Panorama section this year, Garbage was first screened in India on August 20. Like Gandu, however, it won’t see a theatrical release.
Q says Garbage— which deals with what he considers as India’s rapid slide into quasi-fascism— is his most dangerous and straightforward film yet. For the National Awardwinning auteur, who is known for the extremely edgy Ludo (2015) and Tasher Desh (2012), that’s not an idle statement.
“The protagonist, a bigoted perpetrator, seen from very close, reveals intense complexities,” he says. “We try to understand the nuances of deep-seated faith in inequality and the sense of entitlement.”
Having experimented with the supernatural (Ludo), Q confirms that he’s bent on exploring various genres with his signature vision.
Too controversial for cinemas—or the censors—Garbage was recently acquired by Netflix, which so far has not shied away from politically charged films and series. Still, though the digital world has opened up huge opportunities, Q says it remains to be seen how brave streaming channels will remain over time. “I have been superlucky with Netflix supporting me. But I wouldn’t consider myself an insider,” he says.
An international festival regular, Q's latest film Garbage, is a response to our politically nauseating times