Directed by Ratheesh Ravindran and produced by Sharmila Nair, Sha Sa Ha is the newly released docu-fiction streaming on Neestream. The story unveils people’s stories from the pre-COVID world in 2013 and how their life has changed due to the pandemic.
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Ratheesh Ravindran received an opportunity to make a movie when the nationwide lockdown was first announced. He wondered, “How can I make a movie when no one is allowed to step out of their homes?” Ratheesh had a light bulb moment, and he immediately went digging into his hard drive. A few footages from the drive that captured stories of people from Kerala inspired him to create Sha Sa Ha.
We’ve all had a chance to reflect on our intentions, privilege, acts of gratitude during the time we were stuck within the four walls of our homes. The pandemic allowed us to look back at our repetitions of life that we took for granted. It upended our normal routines and forced us to think differently. Yet, it made us yearn for a life that was and question ‘normality’. Sha Sa Ha is Ratheesh Ravindran’s reflections on life and art and how the COVID pandemic influenced people’s lives and thoughts. Much of this docu-fiction is also a reflection of our own thoughts and questions that we raised while we were in confinement. As we all negotiated with the norms of the New Normal, we contemplated our life, professionally and personally. Sha Sa Ha picks up these pieces one by one, and merge them together like the art of Kintsugi.
Going through Ratheesh’s footage from the past is a throwback to the time when cameras produced low-resolution videos with washed-out colours. Looking at it through a vintage lens takes you back to an aesthetic that’s dying a slow death today. As the film progresses, the retro footage transforms, and we are shifted to the present. The emotion these ‘filters’ carry is itself a show of passing time, and how we often don’t recognise the transition of life. It isn’t our fault. We’ve just not had the time to sit down and reflect on the past. Sha Sa Ha is a strong reminder of that.
More than that, it’s the stories of people that will capture your hearts. Their life then and now, and how they perceive it will give you hope. Through the film, we’re also introduced to different art forms and the stories each portrays. Drawing inspiration from different artforms and narratives, Ratheesh is able to bring out the philosophical meaning of the virus.
Unlike other visuals of the pandemic, this film is of hope. You’re made to view it from a positive light, and that is why you should watch Sha Sa Ha. It leaves you with a feeling of good times to come.
You can watch Sha Sa Ha on Neestream.