Image for White Ant


White Ant


Ashish, a middle-aged businessman, is called back to his now abandoned childhood home, where he is confronted with a colony of termites eating the house from the inside out.

A knock on the void foundation of the house. A crunch of the rotten piece of the ragged wooden pole. The clear sound of the crumbling building is getting under your skin.

A middle-aged Mumbai man is investigating the house of his late father in order to stop the termites plague. The worm intruders have not only caused a singular problem but seem to be a bigger disturbance for the whole community in the small Indian village.

However, the centre of the story is the childhood house to which we are constantly invited by slow camera movements, close-ups on its decaying elements or soft light glitters bringing out the thick dust.

The organic touch visible in the texturized, grainy 16mm shots is enhanced by the idea of the house portrayed as a metaphorical prosthetic of death, with punctuated moments of slow decaying and becoming a part of the natural scenery. And yet, the nostalgic atmosphere is intriguingly alternated by the animated parts of the termites and immersive blue lightning that create dreamlike suspension and unearthly breath of restlessness. A film which does not take an easy path to create a sentimental flashback but portrays a complex image of grief and calmness accompanying accepting the inevitable.

Aleksandra Ławska

Director filmography: Somebody’s Daughter (2018), Algo Más Banal (2017)

  • Director Shalini Adnani
  • Country India, UK
  • Year 2023
  • Duration 15m
  • UK Premiere


Bill Douglas Award 1: Soon what remains?

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