Dr Marius Kwint, from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth, will be chairing a film screening of Louis Kahn’s Tiger City at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on 9th April.
The film covers art historian and filmmaker Sundaram Tagore as he travels in the footsteps of Louis Kahn to discover how the famed American architect built a daringly modern and monumental parliamentary complex in war-torn Bangladesh. This very personal fourteen-country odyssey delves into Bangladesh’s quest for democracy, how Khan brilliantly wove together Eastern and Western forms, and the power of great architecture to embody the highest ideals.
The story of how the Estonian-born American architect and academic Louis I. Kahn (1901-1904) came to design a visionary new parliament building for Dhaka, Bangladesh, as the country was barely emerging from a terrible war of independence, is a moving and heartening one, as this feature-length documentary film will show. Sundaram Tagore, an Indian-born art historian, curator and gallerist, took seven years to make it alongside running his international art gallery business and, in 2015, directing a major collateral exhibition of the Venice Art Biennale with Dr Marius Kwint as co-curator.
Louis Kahn’s Tiger City is an example of how historical research can take shape as a visually appealing and informative art-form. The documentary features a range of voices from builders, engineers and architects who worked with Kahn, to his son and daughter; we also hear from those who work in the parliament building and the well known American actor Debra Winger.
The University of Portsmouth Architectural School Society held a screening of an earlier film by Kahn’s son Nathaniel, My Architect, about his gradual discovery of his father’s work, back in November 2018. Marius Kwint, who studied with Sundaram Tagore at Oxford University and has since worked on many projects with him, helped to advise the editorial process of the film and is delighted to be able to share in the gala screening, as he has not yet seen the final cut.