• Ekta Mittal
    • India
    • 2018
    • 80 min
    • European Premiere
    • IDFA Competition for First Appearance, Space

    In poor areas of rural India, large numbers of villagers—most of them young men—are leaving their homes to look for work in big cities. Many of them disappear into the anonymity of city life, leaving their families to wonder what became of them.

    For the people left behind, the sense of loss remains huge even many years later. Absence is a cinematic portrayal of the grief, agony and anguish of separation that is expressed with the Hindi word birha. In a faraway village, missing people, mothers and tired lovers yearn to see beyond the mist. They meet each other in impenetrable silences and endless mourning. They curse the moon for witnessing their insomnia.

    Guided by Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s birha poetry, the film captures the pain, lamentation and yearning caused by separation. The locations are not marked, characters are not named. Absence situates itself in a season of waiting and a climate of uncertainty, where only a loud screech can measure the distance between loved ones.



      • 80 min
      • color
      • Spoken languages: Hindi, Punjabi
      Ekta Mittal
      Ekta Mittal for Maraa
      Paromita Dhar, Amith Surendran
      Abhro Banerjee
      Ekta Mittal

      IDFA history

      European Premiere
      IDFA Competition for First Appearance

      Share this film

      Print this page

      IDFA history

      This website uses cookies.

      By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

       here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies