Fool's Gold is a peek into the life of an old man who has refused to vacate a dilapidated house in a prime location in Kolkota. The old man feels that it is important to guard it from various encroachers, and even though he has a better house and his son's family waiting for him, he chooses to stay in this broken down one where even electricity and power supply has been blocked. It starts becoming apparent that there is a role reversal, as if the house is not for him, but he is the one trapped in the house bound by an unexplained duty towards guarding it.
This short doc explores the condition of the man and his single minded love for the broken house and very gently comments on themes of loneliness, attachment and love.
The documentary is Directed by Rachit Daruka who shot it during the lockdown. He tells us that the house on which the documentary is about, is right across his building. "There was a tree which used to stand there but due to Amphan the tree collapsed and the house lay bare in front of my eyes. I was in awe seeing the enormity of the house but it's dilapidated state intrigued me as well. It is then that for the first time, I realised that there is an old man who stays in a small room in the house, someone about whose existence I was oblivious to. It was then that I felt that just like me there must be so many people who didn't even know he existed and that's where my intrigue coupled with the loneliness which I was feeling during the lockdown, led me to start researching about the man's story."
He also tells that during the documentary shoot, owing to the man's age he was self contradicting himself a lot. His forgetfulness made him dwindle in his statements. And initially he was not trusting and hesitant to open up.
Speaking about the short doc format, Rachit feels that short format documentaries would help the audience to understand and engage with documentaries and would open the medium up to more and more people.
Rachit hails from the artistic city of Kolkata. His passion for cinema dates back to his school days when he was doing theatre and directed a short film which won him the ‘Best Director’ award for an inter- school filmmaking contest. He then went to Whistling Woods International where his horizon for storytelling expanded and he Co-Founded Goonj Podcast which is a storytelling podcast platform by Whistling Woods International. He wrote and directed extensively for Goonj while directing a number of short films and documentaries. A short film of his, ‘Kissi Din’ won the Best Film award at a competition organized by Youth for Human Rights International and was screened at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Director- Rachit Daruka
Cinematography- Arijit Kundu
Editor, Sound Design, Graphics- Rohitendra Chatterjee
Music Composer- Prithwidev Bhattacharyya
Still Photography- Gargi Mondal