Shyamal uncle turns off the lights

Suman Gosh
India 2012 | 65 Min. | OmeU

An 80-year-old Kolkata retiree is on a mis­sion to get his neigh­bor­hood street­lights turned off after sun­rise after he notices they stay on all day as well. Shya­mal Uncle finds his sense of pro­pri­ety upset by this waste­ful expense of elec­tric­i­ty. But find­ing some­one to take him seri­ous­ly proves a battle against an indif­fer­ent bureau­cra­cy and a com­pla­cent status quo (and is just maybe a wel­come dis­trac­tion from his oth­er­wise dull rou­tine). SHYAMAL UNCLE TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS is based on a real incident.

Suman Ghosh real­ized his vérité-style film with the actual pro­tag­o­nists, some­times people involved didn’t know about the shoot­ing. The film is alive with the sights, sounds and per­son­al­i­ties of this old Kolkata neigh­bor­hood, as his unlike­ly pro­tag­o­nist pur­sues a quest that adds up to a wry, reveal­ing, highly orig­i­nal tour of modern India.