A Night of Knowing Nothing

  • Payal Kapadia
  • France, India
  • 2021
  • 97 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests

This experimental film, winner of the Golden Eye Award in Cannes, begins with a found object: a box of newspaper clippings and letters from a film student to her forbidden lover. While they stood side by side in student protests against the growing influence of right-wing policies at the university, he didn’t stand up to his own parents when they forbade him from seeing her again. Her pain, dreams, experiences, and observations about the changing political climate reflect those of many students in India today.

Shot by the filmmakers and fellow students throughout the country, the varied scenes of everyday, intimate moments, exuberant celebrations, as well as intense demonstrations and confrontations with the police are edited together in an intuitive way and gain meaning from the fictional words of the anonymous student. She never understood why he kept newspaper clippings. Now she does: the times are changing so quickly that our memories can’t keep up.

Nominated for the Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award


  • 97 min
  • color / black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Hindi, Bengali
  • Subtitles in: English
Payal Kapadia
Thomas Hakim / Petit Chaos, Julien Graff / Petit Chaos, Ranabir Das / Another Birth
Ranabir Das
Ranabir Das
Sound Design
Moinak Bose, Romain Ozanne

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests

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IDFA history

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