'Bete' comments on legalisation of guns to kill wild boars
New Delhi : Ganesh Shetty's new short film "Bete" presents a strong commentary on a 2016 law which legalised the use of guns to cull wild boars in order to protect crops from being destroyed -- and as a result, innocent lives have been lost due to accidents and misuse of guns.
Backed by Drishyam Films, "Bete" released on Monday.
"'Bete' is a Kannada word which means 'to hunt'. Common sense tells us, in the stories of the wild, there is a hunter and there is a hunted. However, what happens when the game moves to true wilderness, away from common sense, is what this film explores," Shetty told IANS via email.
He tells the tale via a simple narrative which follows a day in the life of an ordinary farmer.
The director's connect with nature, its bounty and animals is evident.
"That's because my father is a farmer," he said, and added: "I grew up in a village with love and respect for farming. Every year I go back to my farms in Mangalore for at least 30 days.
"And I believe, 'This is a story of my roots and my people'. I connect with nature as a human being and more so as a farmer. I relate to such stories more than popular fiction."
What sparked the idea for the film "Bete"?
"I have tried to keep myself informed about ecological damage done to Western ghats owing to excessive human activity. During my research, I incidentally came across people who treat the forests like their own child.
"I met people who believed we all are part of metaphorical cycle; someone is hunting someone always. This was, of course, in the context of tiger poaching, which is a strand in the now disturbingly widespread conflict between human beings and wildlife," he said.
In "Bete", Shetty makes a point without the use any statistics.
"I let the narrative flow. I like to keep it as real as possible and that's precisely the reason why I cast a real farmer."
This is his second association with Drishyam Films after "Paroksh". He said his bond with producer Manish Mundra is "above and beyond a mere operational relationship of a director and a producer".
Mundra said "Bete" furthers the banner's continuing mission to promote and support Indian talent. "We believe 'Bete' is a powerful story that will endear itself both to Indian and global audiences."