THE UNDERBUG (Slamdance 2023) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

It’s the evening before Independence Day in India, an event that plays a significant although subtle backdrop to the events that unfold in Shujaat Saudagar’s gripping supernatural chamber piece The Underbug. While the radio talkback shows that pepper the film in the background feature a steady flow of callers chatting with the host about what “freedom” means to them, we have already, at the outset of the film, learned that not everyone is feeling so celebratory. Riots have broken out with terrifying violence permeating some areas, and people are warned to stay indoors.

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