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A Homecoming Spectacle – A Documentary on Durga Puja Festival

‘A Homecoming Spectacle’ is a documentary on Durga Puja Festival in Kolkata Sunanda K. Sanyal, professor of art history and critical studies at the Art Institute of Boston. Produced in 2008, ‘A Homecoming Spectacle’ (58 mins) explores the visual culture of Durga Pujo. The documentary was selected for screening at the 5th Asian Festival of Films in Singapore late in 2009, where it received nominations for Best Documentary and Best Director of Documentary.

The documentary attempts to unravel the changes that are taking place in the decorative aspects during Durga Puja festival.

India New England writes about the documentary
“A Homecoming Spectacle” acts as a lens through which to examine how the festival is changing, according to Sanyal. One way in which change can be seen is that the provincial celebration is becoming global. The documentary observes that whimsical, if controversial, change in the approach of erecting and incorporating pandals and Durgas into the festival.
Sanyal said his film seeks to remain objective on the apparent shift in pandal and Durga figure-making and what he calls the secularization of Durga Pujo.
Sanyal said he hopes that when audiences see his film they will walk away with an appreciation of the “adaptability of culture.” And while he says that some aspects of the Durga Pujo’s original intent may be becoming sublimated to the artists’ attempt at trying a new approaches, it is not necessarily a bad thing.
Sadly, I could not get a trailer of the documentary or an official website.