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Search for Modernity

When India was partitioned at Independence in 1947, Lahore, the traditional capital of Punjab, was ceded to Pakistan. Prime minister Nehru decided that India should compensate the Punjabis by giving them a new capital city, Chandigarh. A city that was to reflect a modern, democratic and rational scientific temper. The famous French - Swiss architect Le Corbusier was given the job of translating this vision into the design of the new capital.The city was divided into rectangular neighbourhoods called sectors, and zoning was followed in order to separate the various functions of the city from one another in a systematic, rationalistic manner - a design that has its positive and negative aspects. The Capitol complex is where Le Corbusier's genius manifested itself at its peak. Its overall plan, the monuments of the central plaza, the sculptural use of raw concrete, the High court, the Assembly building and the overall feeling for the sacred and the cosmic are some of the aspects explored in depth in the film.

While a voice-over, accompanied by electronic music, recounts and explains the story of Chandigarh, archival footage, images of the city and of the main buildings are intercut with computer-generated graphics.

45 minutes




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