08.11.23, 20:30, Love in the Time of Malaria (1992)
Mysterious mosquitoes spread a strange disease that causes unrest among the inhabitants of the kingdom of Khojpuri. King Bhadrabhoop II, a monarch so strict that he even bans his citizens' dreams if he does not like their content, anxiously watches as the non-conformist influence of the mosquitoes stirs his subjects to protest. World-weary scientist Hunshilal is loyal to the king and discovers a deadly pesticide that will eradicate the mosquitoes, and with them their anarchic tendency. When he falls like a log for his fellow scientist Parveen during his research, he begins to question his actions and is forced to take sides.
Love in the Time of Malaria is a sharp musical comedy. Although the satire is sometimes lacking in subtlety and clearly refers to contemporary personalities and events, the film remains timeless and — more importantly — hilarious. Director Sanjiv Shah deployed various narrative forms for his only fictional work: the film oscillates between fairy tales, musicals, the Tamasha theatre tradition and quasi-documentary footage that reminds us that we are definitely in India. This gem from the 1990s has only recently resurfaced and is now available to all.