By Utpal Borpujari / New Delhi
In what’s going to be a special moment for cinema from Assam, an experimental documentary on noted Assamese poet Aban Chakraborty, who has remained traceless after having gone missing in November 12, 1994, will be screened at the famous Louvre Museum in Paris, which houses the legendary painting “Monalisa” by Leonardo da Vinci.
The 22-minute documentary, titled “I Don’t Want to be Born Again for Poem”, is produced, directed and scripted by Guwahati-based filmmakers Bhaskar Jyoti Das and Waribam Dorendra, and it will be screened at Louvre Museum on February 29 as part of the Les Rencontres Internationales, a major European festival that celebrates artistic and experimental cinema along with other arts. This year the festival is being organized in both Paris and Berlin.
“We are really honoured that our film, which falls in the genre of experimental cinema, will be screened at the world-famous Louvre Museum in Paris. It’s a proud moment that the story of poet Abani Chakraborty will be shown at a venue which has, among its many treasures, the iconic painting Monalisa,” an elated Das and Dorendra said.
Das, who has written scripts for feature films like “Haanduk” and “Sonar Baran Pakhi”, as well as TV serials, hails from Tangla. Guwahati-based Dorendra, who is an alumnus of the Dr Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film and Television Institute, has made several documentaries.
This year’s Les Rencontres Internationales will be held from February 25 to March 1 and will have a selection of artistic films, multimedia performances, exhibitions, panel discussions, etc., and will be attended by filmmakers, museum directors, curators and artists from all over the world.
The festival, in its official site, describes Das and Dorendra’s film as an experimental film and says, “During 1970’s and 80’s there were many revolutionary uprising happening, near and far, all around the world. In this period, amidst this protest and revolutionary uprising, a poet symbolically expresses his feelings to capture the complexity of human existence. Constant financial pressure in his family life is also evident in his words. At one point, words become distorted and absurd. One evening, the poet, Abani Chakravarty disappears and left many confusions.”
Les Rencontres Internationales was launched in 1997 with the goal of “creating pathways between different art forms related to the moving image and their respective audiences, to catalyze artistic activity where there is none, and to foster connections between creative practices that may seem remotely related.”
Abani Chakraborty, who was born in Nalbari in 1941, had published a number of books including poetry anthologies, translations and two novelettes before he left home in 1994. He also edited a number of poetry magazines. “Pratibadar Kantha”, recorded in 1985, was the first-ever cassette of recitation of Assamese poetry.