Director Ravi Kumar on Bhopal – A Prayer For Rain
Posted by Vivek on October 13, 2014 | No Comments
What was the most rewarding part of being involved in this project?
The most rewarding part of the project was researching and writing the script. We met survivors and Carbide workers who have not spoken about their horrific experiences for 30 years.
Why did you want to be a part of Bhopal – A Prayer for Rain?
This story has relevance for future generations. The story is old enough to be told with an emotional distance and recent enough to be relevant to us. It’s amazing to see response from young people who are shocked not only from the scale of the disaster, but the injustice to the victims. Some of the audience believed the film was a work of fiction. So we had to add facts and old news photos in the credits to remind the audience that this is a true story.
What was the most unsettling part of this project for you?
We were given access to the decayed Carbide plant that still stands in the middle of town. When we approached the rusty tank 610, that leaked during the tragedy, we had to turn away, as the smell from the tank was still reeking after 30 years. We saw discarded shoes, helmets lying on rusty floor even after 30 years.
Do you expect Bhopal – A Prayer for Rain to have an affect on the lives of the people who were victims of the Bhopal disaster?
We are working with organizations such Bhopal Medical Appeal, ICJB and Amnesty International to raise awareness and help the lives of people of Bhopal. This has already been our priority. Our producers, Sahara and Rising Star has indicated that a part of the revenues from the film be set aside for people of Bhopal.
Do you think a film like Bhopal – A Prayer for Rain might change perceptions enough to change the behaviors of global corporations?
The mechanism for most industrial disasters, BP oil spill, Exxon Waldez leak etc., is eerily familiar; cost-cuttings, corporate greed, exotic location, untrained staff and ignorance of early warning signs by the management. We want to make sure accidents such as Bhopal belong to the history books, never to be seen in news.
Did working on this project affect any of your beliefs about multinational corporations or the ways they should be treated by governments?
I sincerely hope the working relationship between Union Carbide and the then Indian government is a thing of the past. Government should look beyond economic growth and job prospects when dealing with multinationals. Some multinationals function as a nation themselves with rules, governance structure and sometimes their own army when outside the US. I hope out film brings change in both politicians and business executives the way they do business in and outside the US.