Char is an island in the river that forms the border between India and Bangladesh. It is there that a boy named Rubel and his family live, along with others who lost their homes. The island emerged like a gift that the river gave to the people as a refuge after it tore away their native village when the water levels rose. But this gift is built on sand, a fleeting environmental reaction after the dam upstream was put into operation. Out of necessity, the people – much like the birds – have made use of this new terrain and built up a contraband business. Livestock, alcohol, rice, and other wares are smuggled past the border patrols with admirable finesse: a heroic battle for survival that provides Rubel with just enough to let him dream of a better future, although (or because) Char will be merely one stage in his life. Sourav Sarangi observed this soggy microcosm over a number of years, using various different cameras to capture heterogeneous, at times almost apocalyptic images on film. His story of a boy growing up is left with an open ending, mixed with an oddly wonderful feeling of amazement.

Original Title Char
German Title Char... the No-Man's Island
French Title Char... the No-Man's Island
Other Titles Char... the No-Man's Island - Moddhikhane Char
Directed by Sourav Sarangi
Country India
Available Formats Blu-ray, DCP
Screenplay Sourav Sarangi
Film Editing Sourav Sarangi
Cinematography Sourav Sarangi, Rabindranath Das, Minarul Mondal, Ajoy Noronha
Sound Minarul Mondal
Production Son et Lumiere, Calcutta, Indien
Runtime 88 Min.
Language Bengali
Film documentaire

“A lyrical, beautiful, and satisfying journey of self-discovery”
Anne Thompson, Indiewire

“A cinematic jewel”
Kay Durbin, Film Dilettante

“Beautifully photographed”
Anthony Kaufman, Screen International

“A lyrical, tender romance”
Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter

“Moving and poetic”
Tom Brook, Talking Movies, BBC


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trigon-film is a foundation with outstanding films from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, pursuing the aim to dismantle cultural barriers and prejudices. Since its foundation in 1988, trigon has distributed more than 500 titles to Swiss cinema houses, on DVD and in its online cinema. Most of these titles remain in the trigon collection so that the access to this visual legacy is maintained. Learn more