Indian filmmaker Abhay Kumar’s hybrid documentary, “Placebo,” which is an observational examination about student life in one of the most competitive institutions in the world – All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi – is now available for streaming on Netflix.
The winner of several awards, including ‘Best Film’ in international competition at the Mumbai International Film Festival 2016 and ‘Special Jury Award’ at the EBS International Documentary Film Festival (2015), “Placebo” seeks to bring to light a rarely seen perspective of academic excellence, pressure and isolation.
The official synopsis of this critically-acclaimed film, written by Archana Phadke, is: “Those who get through the incredibly low acceptance rate (less than 0.1%) for the undergraduate study at AIIMS, are marked in a way. From the outside, these students are deemed celebrities in the academic circles, but rarely do we see what becomes of them as they pass through the corridors of excellence. When a freak accident on campus leaves a final year student grievously injured, his older brother, a filmmaker, decides to go inside and find out what happened.”
The film uses a mix of fact and fiction to raise serious questions about the education system, the constant pressure people put on themselves and others, and the failure of society to understand the feeling of isolation among the youth.