Child on a Chessboard (1979)
Child on a Chessboard
Almost 8 minutes long, this surrealistic film (1979) by director Vijay B. Chandra, was shown in thousands of film theatres all over India. It even won prestigious awards! Juxtaposing images of a child playing (often on a chessboard) with images of violence, war and a nuclear explosion, this was very much the experimental technique of the day. But what was the message?
There are various interpretations of the film’s meaning, message or theme. Some contrast the innocence of a child playing games with the harsher reality of adults playing war.
I prefer to extend that to focus on a child’s curiousity morphing beyond the mere exploration of harmless games to where that same curiousity threatens to kill not just the child but the entire human race. Chess is a game where strategy wins. Nuclear weapons are also strategic, but winning is out of the question.
Here is what the director, Vijay B. Chandra had to say of his film:
- Excerpt from link