In her films, Paromita Vohra is the trickster, the bahurupiya who entertains, unsettles, and ultimately encourages the spectator to think, reflect, and reconsider. Always penetrating in her analysis, Vohra is interested in the ways power is exercised through history and discourse. Her films are aesthetically distinct in the context of the formal histories of social documentary in India, which emerged at a moment of political crisis and subsequently came to be associated with instrumental use in education, advocacy, and public address. For Vohra, the textual stability of documentary address, representational regimes, and cinematic and verbal language are important areas of political interrogation. Each film is a complex construction in which the “real” is only one element in an affective and reflexive architecture of performance, fiction, poetry, and the intuitive. In this interview, Vohra and the author discuss the filmmaker's discomfort with the historical conventions of social documentary and how she reworks documentary's aesthetic terms through the prisms of the personal.

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