Screening | Cities of Sleep

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 5:00pm

401 Fisher-Bennett Hall | Penn campus

The screening and talk have been cancelled given the forecast of inclement weather and the impossibility of the speaker to travel. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Shaunak Sen screens his award-winning recent documentary Cities of Sleep

The documentary Cities of Sleep takes us into a heady world of insurgent sleepers' communities and the infamous "sleep mafia" in Delhi, where just securing a safe sleeping spot often becomes a question of life and death. The film traces the lives of two individuals, Shakeel and Ranjeet. Shakeel, a renegade homeless sleeper, has for the last seven years slept in a diverse range of improvised places like subways, under park benches, parking lots, abandoned cars and, most recently, at areas controlled by the sleep mafia. Ranjeet runs the “sleep-cinema” community at Loha Pul, a huge double-story iron bridge straddling the banks of the river Yamuna. A thin strip of land under Loha Pul houses shanty cinemas where over 400 homeless people sleep through the day for a nominal price. The flooding of the river Yamuna poses a threat to the people sleeping there each monsoon season. The film not only looks at the tremendous pressure that the need to find a safe place to sleep exerts on the homeless in the city, but also presents a broader philosophical exploration of sleep.

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782