Critical Writing Index

An Interview with Ali Kazimi

by Marcy Goldberg and Firoza Elavia

cineACTION, Spring 1995, no. 37, pp. 11-20

An interview with Canadian-Indian immigrant filmmaker Ali Kazimi on issues about race, intercultural communication, and institutional support encountered during the production of his feature-length "ethnographic" documentary Narmada, A Valley Rises. Describing himself as a "person of colour", Kazimi explains the criticism and contestation of his straight documentary (about postcolonial Indian activism against the construction of Sarovar Dam) as too technically traditional for the video art medium, as well as lacking in Canadian cultural content.

Although shot in video, Kazimi refers to Narmada as "film" for its aesthetic and production principles of formal play and imposition on narrative content. He also addresses the lack of self-reflexivity in his filmmaking as adherence to the objective nature of the documentary genre. Hs motive for making Narmada was to debunk the conventional victimized representations of Third World peoples.

ITEM 1995.115 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Narmada, A Valley RisesAli Kazimi