• Team MMB

An Assamese film that etches its complexity in this logjam of agrarian crisis

Updated: Nov 23, 2019

As agrarian crisis gets a bigger hold onto the marginalised farming communities, and a need for a discursive understanding ever so becoming imperative; we look back at ‘Halodhiya Choraye Baodhan Khai’ and the subtle art of capturing the life and struggles that slip between the lines for those who do not attempt to look.

Jahnu Barua’s benchmark film ‘Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai’ (The Catastrophe, 1987) of 120 minute duration , winner of International and National crowns, rare feats so to say, remains still his masterpiece work as it refuses to toe the mainstream trappings in reaching realism and truth. His milieu is always somewhat agrarian, rural and cunning feudalism. His warmth is deeply felt in his above film that opens the wounds of our soul. We find a strand of poetic resonance amidst of poverty, powerlessness of the milieu. It is apparent the film harks back to the nitty-gritty of India’s feudal structure that operates openly and clandestinely.

Marking its 32nd year of release, HCBK reminds us that discourse is important, and more so now than ever; it reminds us that Assamese films can be more - and it has us rooting for ‘Village Rockstars’ (2018), India’s official entry for the Oscars 2019.

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