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PAPILIO BUDDHA Story

Papilio Buddha explores the life of a group of displaced Dalits in the Western Ghats of India and probes the new identity politics based on Ambedkarism, gaining momentum among the Dalits in the region, in the milieu of an ongoing land struggle. A band of displaced untouchables in Western Ghats of India embrace Buddhism in order to escape from caste oppression. The on-screen happenings are from the perspective of a youth Sankaran, a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) dropout, whose insecurity and reticence are in stark contrast to the deep-rooted faith and conviction of his father Kandal Kariyan.

The film brings into focus, an example of the epic land struggles, which was fought in various regions of the state and across India, and the oppression of indigenous people by the powerful political and social establishments. It also maps environmental degradation and abuse of pristine mountain habitats by outside forces.