Cleveland International Film Festival } March 25 – April 5, 2020 } Tower City Cinemas



Year: 2014
Country: INDIA
Run Time: 96 minutes


Abhay Kumar’s hybrid documentary PLACEBO is a chilling examination of one of the most competitive institutions in the world—All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. Every year thousands of aspiring doctors apply, but only 0.1% of the applicants can finally count themselves as part of the elite community of admitted medical students (Harvard’s acceptance rate is 7% in comparison). In 2011 a violent student brawl left Kumar’s younger brother Sahil with an immobile right arm, a year before he was expected to write his final exams at AIIMS. With Sahil’s dreams of a successful career in medicine seemingly dashed, Kumar—equipped with only a Handycam—sets out to understand life amongst the “geniuses” at AIIMS and to investigate why more and more students are committing suicide. Through extensive student interviews over a two-year period and surreal animated sequences, Kumar reveals a student body plagued by overwhelming pressure from parents, faculty, administrators, other students, and themselves. Still, despite the many demons haunting current students, the best of the best continue to strive for the “placebo” of prestige granted by this esteemed institution. (In English and Hindi with subtitles) – E.B.

CIFF39 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 11:20 AM

Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 6:00 PM

Pan-Asian Films

Global Health Competition

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Abhay Kumar

Born in Chandigarh, India, filmmaker Abhay Kumar studied mass communication in New Delhi. His short films have earned numerous awards and critical praise in India and around the world.

PLACEBO (2014)

Abhay Kumar, Archana Phadke

Abhay Kumar

Abhay Kumar, Archana Phadke

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