PEBBLES

Director: P.S. Vinothraj

Country: India

Year: 2021

Duration: 1.15

Languages: Tamil

Original name: Koozhangal

It’s another hot day in Arittapatti, a tiny place in Tamil Nadu’s back of beyond countryside. A drought has turned the landscape barren. Peasants see their lives destroyed. Men waste the hours at cards. Women try to keep their small family worlds together. Violence is in the air all the time. Ganapathy’s wife had enough of his abuse and fled for her parents. Now, he wants to get her back. He’ll take his young son with him on the road – for a trip that will turn into a journey of mutual discovery…

Pebbles is original from shot one: Here a truly unique sensibly is at work, conjuring up energies light and sinister. While in its direction, Pebbles is of an economy rarely seen in cinema these days – anywhere. As this is a story of change, one should never assume to know what the film is about and where it will go – it twists and turns, offering up insight after insight, with new levels of psychological depth and political observations being added scene by scene. Also marvel at the extraordinary performances by debutantes Chellapandi and Karuththadaiyaan who carry so much of the film just through the way they move and look – the urgency of their strides and the hurt etched into their faces. Even by the world-class standards of Tamil cinema: this is a one-of-its-kind gem!

Vinothraj P.S. has the true auteur’s career pedigree: He worked in a DVD store where he got into contact with creatives from the Tamil film production world. Director Sarkunam took him then under his wings offering him hands-on experiences as his a.d,; director Raghavan asked him to play a small part in his Manja Pai (2014); while a star director supported Pebbels by reaching out and making ist existence known. Thus, Vinothraj was raised and nurtured by the Tamil film industry who understood that a true talent needs support! (Olaf Möller)