Taala Te Kunjee or ‘Lock and Key’ is a 2017 film directed by Shilpi Gulati and is a revelatory documentary about five people from Amritsar recovering from alcohol addiction.
Capturing the turmoil of addiction and its effects on the families of five Punjabi men, the film deconstructs masculinity and eventually leads to a redefining process in which stereotypes are broken and the resilient bonds of love are highlighted. Intergenerational trauma and a plethora of other unnoticed and unresolved emotional issues are also addressed within the film in reference to the drug epidemic that has been causing waves in Punjab.
Talking about the women in film, The Hindu’s Neha Bhatt says, “The women in the documentary are almost as crucial to the narrative as their recovering husbands. Satpal Kaur, who battled serious financial strain, her own illness, and deep emotional trauma while coping with her husband’s alcoholism, talks about what she went through when her husband would lie in a corner of a room, covered in his blood, urine, and vomit.”
All said and done, Taala Te Kunjee is about hope. It pitches forward a fierce hope to live and to live well. Society’s demands from a man— success, support, and power — can potentially plummet him into toxicity, and if not managed and supported well, can lead to addiction or worse. With deep vulnerability a poetic portrayal, Taala Te Kunjee also attempts to unlock trauma and heal from past regressions, whilst finding a comforting sense of assurance in community.
You can view the entire film here.
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