The team behind the music video Kodaikanal Won’t, which brought to light the issue of mercury contamination in Kodaikanal by a thermometer factory, had created history by helping get compensation for the 591 affected workers who had struggled for 14 years. The outfit is back with a bang now with yet another impactful video.
Titled Kodaikanal Still Won’t, filmmaker Rathindran Prasad, who directed the original, is at it again. In an exclusive to DC, Rathindran opens up as why and how it has started again. “I was busy with my post production work of my debut film Idhu Vedhalam Sollum Kadhai in Bangkok when I got a call from Nityanand Jayaraman who worked with my earlier videos. He said that there’s a need for making a music video for the social cause, as things didn’t work as promised by Hindustan Unilever at Kodai. They wanted me to wield the megaphone for the new video song.”
He adds, “Though environmental clean-up work was taken up, its intensity was 20 times lesser than what they are supposed to do. This is what we call ‘Environmental racism’ and we protest this and demand the same standard that is applicable in developed countries. The new video is called Kodaikanal, Still Won’t andaims to bring awareness about the present polluted environment in Kodai. We won’t rest until our demand is met.”
KSW, which runs for two and a half minutes, is a fusion of Carnatic, rap and gana genres with popular singer turned social activist TM Krishna, rapper Sofia Ashraf (who rocked in the first video), and composer Amrit rendering the song besides appearing in the video.
Did he face any problem while shooting the second video as by now people are known faces, we ask. “Oh yeah! We shot in and outside of the shutdown factory; quotes of affected people and had lot of pressure coming from several quarters. And even threats! But, I am used to it and somehow we managed to get good footage. Unlike my earlier video, fortunately, we also had good budget for this and we could take some time and shoot the video.”
Kodaikanal Still Won’t is all the more powerful in terms of content, which would create the right noise and become an anthem on social media to restore the ‘Princess of Hills’ the lost charm, asserts Rathindran as he signs off!