What makes an artist, or at what moment, does the realization of artistic gift happen? Moments of epiphany, or realization, are always, especially for artists themselves, difficult to pinpoint; even with hindsight and retrospection. It’s best left to interpreters – filmmakers or memoirists; and fiction, that with all its allusions and suggestiveness, can help shed light, on what makes possible the creative process. This piece looks at some films on writers; how their lives were shaped indelibly by their art.
n India’s resource-rich Meghalaya State, demand for coal is transforming the environment and the people who depend on it. Coal mine owners are prospering from booming production, but few laws regulate the dangerous and polluting practice known as “rat-hole” mining. Until now.
I am near the Indo-Bhutan border in a village called Dimakuchi in the Udalguri district of Assam in Northeast India. There are hundreds of people around me and we are in a large field where temporary tents are pitched. Lightning flashes in the sky as people huddle together under a slight drizzle. The faces of the crowd are all turned to one direction, captivated by the spectacle of dance, song and entertainment on the makeshift stage as though they are under a spell. As the compere monotonously calls for the next performer in line for the Master of Dance competition, I wonder if this is the Bodo Film Festival I was invited to, and how I am supposed to make sense of it.
Gillo Pontecorvo (1919–2006), whose masterpiece “The Battle of Algiers” (1966) remains the most perfect example of a ‘reconstructed realism’, the purest cinematic equivalent of Marx’s famous metaphor of the ‘life of the subject-matter’ being ‘ideally reflected as in a mirror’. What Pontecorvo set out to do was, in his words, ‘represent the irreversibility of a revolutionary process when a colonized people acquire consciousness of its identity as a nation’. And he did this so well that the film was boycotted by the French delegation at the Venice Film Festival in 1966 and banned for over three years in both France and England (till 1971).”
Debates have started again after when the ULFA chief in his latest notes from underground vowed to register his protest – “that too not in words” – if theatres in Assam decide to take down an Assamese film called Shakira Ahibo Bakultolor Bihuloi / Shakira will be coming to Bakultol’s Bihu in favour of films like Raees and Kaabil.
Through Ianche, a Garo poet, the film tries to understand what it feels to be a poet without a written language. Once this saddening truth is felt and understood in its entirety can you write again? The Garos have their own language but no script to write and hence they have been using the English alphabet for centuries now. Ianche, an accomplished poet finds himself tormented and unable and unwilling to write anymore. He can see his people completely abandoning their rich culture and he believes that the only way to save himself and them is to author a script.
We thought our 1936 Amateur Film about Shillong was the earliest moving image representation of Shillong, but we were wrong. Watch this most probably a…
Ri’s idea of justice and peace resides in the militants’ surrendering of arms and not in the State taking similar responsibilities.
Shillong. Tara is getting married in 3 days. On her bachelorette’s party, she falls into a pool to find herself in a world exactly like her’s but where she doesn’t exist.
a film by Dennis Konjengbam, Prateeksha Darabdhara & Bijoy Labuktongbam
Bamboo Shoots – a film by Steven Ao about a young boy and his mother troubles | Nagamese with English subs | 10 mins