Q&A with “Our Time” Director Arpita Kumar

Still from "Our Time. "
"We used water to create these moments of wonder for Maira’s character."

CAAM is delighted to participate in the annual PBS Online Film Festival. The prestigious festival features independent films. One of the CAAM films this year is Our Time, directed by CAAMFest alum Arpita Kumar.

Hungry for the attention of her absent father, ten-year old Maira hides behind the screen of her ipad constantly facetiming him but also avoiding the loving presence of her mother. Videos shared from these devices paint a picture of a happy family until one day Maira stumbles upon the truth that is both a sobering and transforming for her.

PBS spoke with Writer and Director Arpita Kumar, about the role water and technology play in the transformation of main character Maira’s relationship with her mother.

The use of water is present throughout the film. We see this as Maira and her mother drive through a car wash, when Maira is playing with the garden hose, in one of the phone photos, and when Maira is washing her hands before dinner. Can you explain the reason behind this?

While working on the cinematic look and the visual composition of the film, I was interested in showcasing Maira’s point-of-view. Children her age are often glued to screens. The rare moments they look up, it is because their attention is drawn to something new or otherworldly. Their glazed eyes become alive with wonder. We used water to create these moments of wonder for Maira’s character. Water also became a visual metaphor for the small transformation Maira would undergo through the film, from being icy cold to her mother to becoming fluid and empathetic towards her.

Read the full Q&A with PBS here.