Hindus celebrate ‘Mrityubhoj’, or the Death Feast, on the 13th day after a cremation as a remembrance for the departed soul, and also as a ritual to help the soul find heavenly abode. At this event, thirteen ‘Brahmins’ are fed a lavish meal, followed by donations to the temple in the hope to garner peace and blessings for the departed. The feast is later extended to the relatives, neighbours and the rest of the village.
Today, Mrityubhoj has become akin to a status symbol and a reflection of a family’s social standing. Even the poorest of poor are compelled under circumstances beyond their control to organize large death feasts, taking a toll on their very existence.
This film takes a fly on the wall approach, following a family in the Chambal district in India, as they get ready to organize a death feast following the demise of their father. Caught between tradition, societal pressure, and prestige on the one hand and on the other hand, activists trying to put a lid on the pernicious practice of Mrityubhoj, especially for the poor, it tries to capture their predicament of being caught between a rock and a hard place.