Somnath Pal’s animated short film Death of a Father, produced by Court director Chaitanya Tamhane, explores a middle-aged man coping with grief in the days following his father’s demise.
Set in Uttar Pradesh, Death of a Father is entirely hand drawn. It follows Babu (voiced by Pal) from the day his father died. The sombre film is minimalist not just in aesthetics but also in plot and dialogue. It is mostly quiet. Babu never breaks down but is shown to be attached to his late father, for example, in one scene where he deliberately delays pushing the trolley carrying his father’s corpse into the electric crematorium.
In another scene, Babu secretly eats biscuits during a religious ceremony. Later, when he closes his eyes, his father’s final days in the hospital flash before his eyes. Death of a Father does not have much going in terms of a plot, but the tender, human moments may cut close to the bone for some.