Thamp (The Circus Tent)
Director: Aravindan Govindan
Running Time 129 minutes
Producer: K. Ravindranathan Nair
Starring: Nedumudi Venu, Jalaja, V. K. Sreeraman, Bharath Gopi
A circus arrives at a remote Indian village, and soon the villagers gather and watch transfixed, as if in a prolonged trance, the mesmerizing performances by men, girls and animals. The pathos of circus life and the awe of the spectators are deeply observed and portrayed in an unforgettable black-and-white imagery. Aravindan Govindan’s “Thamp” combines austere documentary style with intimate observation to explore the poignancy of human relationships and the rootlessness of the marginalized.
“Restored by Film Heritage Foundation, The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna at Prasad Corporation Pvt. Ltd’s Post – Studios, Chennai and L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory in Bologna, and in association with Producer K. Ravindranathan Nair of General Pictures, and the family of Aravindan Govindan.”
Thamp was restored using the best surviving element: a Dupe Negative struck from a 35mm print preserved at the National Film Archive of India. A second 35mm print with English subtitles was used as a reference.
Funding supported by Prasad Corporation Pvt. Ltd. and Film Heritage Foundation.
Aravindan Govindan is an Indian filmmaker and artist from the state of Kerala. With a deep interest in philosophy and the mystical, Aravindan lived through the cultural awakening in the 1970s and expresses the layers and austere sophistication of Indian culture through various means, from cinema, theater, music and paintings. He made 10 feature films, 10 documentary films, and many more paintings and music pieces. “Thamp” (1978), which takes place almost entirely in a circus tent, is one of his best-known films.