India | 2016 | HDV | 30 mins | English, Malayalam & Tamil with English subtitles
a film by Geetha J & Ian McDonald
OM is a code for male Amateur Radio / Ham operators. OM:OldMan explores the enclosed world of VU2JN, an elderly Ham from South India, set against the sights and sounds of an election campaign.
OM:OldMan is about passion, achievement, memories and loss. A restrained portraiture of a teacher and one of the senior most hams in India and a home-brew ham at that, OM is also a salutation to a youthful passion for an old form of technology that keeps the old as much as the young engaged with the world.
OM reveals to us this world of the original social media geeks and their scientific hobby while surprising us with the highly global nature of the lives of people in a corner of India much before globalization and at the same time invoking a sense of time and mortality.
Man, science and politics intersect signifying not just the private and public but also the world within and world beyond, as post cards and airwaves take us to distant lands, long before the Internet. Distinct soundscape with recollections and demonstrations, CQs – coded call outs, call signs, high frequencies, interferences, Morse code, hums and crackling voices in the band collide with the election slogans and songs and we get a hint of the drama of the man’s life and the country’s life behind the memories, behind the technology, behind the rhetoric of utopian slogans.
In November 2016, OM Prof Jayaraman received the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award instituted by the Amateur Radio Society of India for his contributions to Ham Radio.
Nov 2016: Jean Rouch International Film Festival, Paris. International Competition
May 2017: New York Indian Film Festival