GUWAHATI CITY

Assamese Film Industry Explores The Existentialism Genre

Assamese

 

GUWAHATI: An Assamese anthology film, directed by three different filmmakers, centering on the common themes of existentialism and loneliness, was recently premiered at the Rudra Baruah auditorium in the Jyoti Chitraban (Film Studio), Guwahati, to enormous praise and appreciation. The film Ji Golpor Ses Nai (never-ending stories), which is a collection of three short stories, tied to a single premise, engaged the packed audiences in each segment with equal intensity.

With Assam as the backdrop, one of the shorts is about the inexplicable influence of a person on another. Ardha Satya, directed by Prodyut Kumar Deka, is based on a tale written by Guy de Maupassant and has Pankaj Mahanta and Kalpana Kalita in the lead. Epitaph, the second short directed by Prasant Saikia, has Himangshu Prasad Das playing the protagonist. Adapted from one of the works of Sahitya Akademi award-winning Assamese author and journalist Homen Borgohain, the story delves deep into the life of struggling writer and his love life. The third short, Prasnabudhok, is based on a story by French novelist Honore de Balzac. Directed by Utpal Datta, the film talks about the constant struggle for desired space between husband and wife.

Datta, an independent filmmaker, said loneliness is a fundamental part of human life. “Loneliness may seem an unusual topic for a film. It doesn’t sound very dramatic, but it’s a fundamental part of being human,” he said.

Pointing out that Assamese cinema took 80 years to make an anthology; Datta said that Ji Golpor Ses Nai has three different stories, tied together by one theme. It has definitely breathed new life into Assam’s moribund film industry.

The three shorts, produced by Pallabi Borah, Krishna Kalita and Namrata Datta, have used similar strategies to portray human emotions — diminishing long shots, recurring motifs and empty spaces. Sirikkathe, a Tamil production released in 1939, is considered to be the first anthology film in India.

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