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    “Conversation with” at the 20th Marrakech IFF, interview with actor Willem Dafoe Bénédicte Prot


Karlovy Vary Film Festival

“Second Chance”, an interview with director Subhadra Mahajan and actress Dheera Johnson

todayJuly 11, 2024 5

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Subhadra Mahajan, director of "Second Chance", joined by her lead actress Dheera Johnson, tell us more about this sensitive, appeasing yet lively film, shot in Himachal Pradesh

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    "Second Chance", an interview with director Subhadra Mahajan and actress Dheera Johnson Bénédicte Prot

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On the occasion of the world premiere of “Second Chance” in the Proxima Competition strand of the 58th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, we met with Indian director Subhadra Mahajan, joined by her main actress, Dheera Johnson, to talk about her sensitive, snowy yet warm debut film, splendidly shot in black and white in Himachal Pradesh, teeming with lovely, caring details and full of life, where a city girl going through a difficult situation and in search of solace and healing in the mountains, slowly finds her way by forming new bonds with a local boy and his grandmother.
We talk about the initial dedication, the delicate cinematography, choice and chance, the various characters and the caring bonds which develop between them, femininity, the presence of dance and the interactions between the protagonist played by Dheera Johnson and the naughty little boy, one very enthusiastic character’s “majestic discourse”, and the goddess inside the landscape.

Subhadra Mahajan on the sort of family which forms in this house up in the mountains: “I think that what bonds the three of them is that at different points in the film, they become each other’s mothers.”; “Nia enables Sunny to have a second chance, and Bhemi to have a second chance, within her journey, and in trying to give them second chances is where she discovers that she has the strength to give herself a second chance.

About the goddess scene: “For me, it represents so much about the general feminine psyche and how it ties into nature and Mother Nature, and Nia, modern girl Nia, and an old village lady like Bhemi, and someway all of us as women.

Plot

"Desolate after experiencing a traumatic incident, Nia travels to the family's summer retreat amid the snow-covered Himalayas in order to regain her strength. There she finds the company of the caretaker’s mother-in-law, Bhemi, and her grandson, Sunny. Irrespective of their differing ages, social background and their ideas of happiness, a surprisingly strong bond develops between them, which cannot be broken, not even by the arrival of someone who drives Nia straight back into her trauma. This visually mesmerising film offers an authentic and vivid depiction of the process of coping with female pain and demonstrates that a second chance might emerge where we least expect it." Natalia Kozáková for the KVIFF

Written by: Bénédicte Prot

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