In a small town in India, a cow vigilante group seeks to recruit teenage boys to join its ranks. Who are these so-called cow vigilantes and how are they using the welfare of the cow, which is sacred to India’s majority Hindu population, to fan the flames of nationalist extremism? In Varun Chopra’s fascinating, multifaceted and provocative new short documentary “Holy Cowboys”, the filmmaker follows Gopal and his friends as they come under the powerful influence of one such group that, in the name of protecting cows, espouses violence against those, including Muslims, who do not share their beliefs and practices.
As part of our focus on NextGen filmmakers — up-and-coming talents in the documentary world — “Top Docs” is pleased to be partnering with the 28th Palm Springs International ShortFest (June 21 – 27) to feature several filmmakers with outstanding documentary shorts in this year’s festival. In this episode, Ken talks to Varun about his nuanced, inventive portrait of Gopal and the larger cultural, political and economic context surrounding his story.
“Holy Cowboys” is part of the documentary shorts block called “Higher Ground” screening Saturday, June 26th at 10:00 AM at the Camelot Theatres, Palm Springs. For more information about ShortFest and “Holy Cowboys”, please go to: https://psfilmfest.org/2022-shortfest
Short doc recommendation: “A Broken House” by Jimmy Goldblum
The Presenting Sponsor of "Top Docs" is Netflix. Listen to our recent conversations with directors whose documentaries are currently on Netflix:
- Rory Kennedy on "Downfall: The Case Against Boeing"
- Andrew Rossi on "The Andy Warhol Diaries"
- Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah on "jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy"