Veteran Assamese film director Jahnu Barua turned 62 on September 17. As a multiple National Award-winning filmmaker who hails from Bokota Chand Bessa, a tiny district in Assam, the obscurity of his work on a mass scale cannot go unnoticed. His films are popular for dealing with their social themes, which address the contemporary culture and politics of Assam, deploying an almost expressionistic approach to regional reformism. An alumni of Guwahati University and the FTII, most of his films have won acclaims nationally and internationally. He has been awarded the Padma Shree in 2003 and Padma Bhushan in 2015 by the Government of India. Here are the five award winning films of the maverick filmmakers that can watched in youtube-
The film presents a subtle story set in one of the lush tea plantations of Assam and captures the loneliness, dreams and love of its central figure and with great sensitivity.The first Assamese film produced by NFDC, with Suhasini Muley, Girish Karnad and Sushil Goswami in lead roles, it was Barua’s first feature film. The film went on to win the National Award for the best regional film in 1982.
Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai (1987)
Based on a novel by the famous Assamese writer Homen Borgohain, the film is structured in a tiny typical village in agrarian Assam steeped in feudal exploitation. It tackles the story of the poor Bora whose land is whisked off and snatched away by rich and the powerful landlords.It won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in 1988 and multiple awards at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1988.
Hkhagoroloi Bohu Door (1995)
The film narrates the fate of Powal, a boatman in Nemuguri village in Assam that is situated on the bank of the river Dihing. There is no bridge in that river. For a few generations his forefathers have been ferrying people to and fro. Life goes on smoothly for the boatman. Until one day when he hears about a bridge to be built across the river threatening his livelihood. The film went on to win Golden Lotus for Best Director (National Award 1995),Best Regional Film (National Award 1995) and was part of the Indian Panorama in1996. It has also won other international awards.
Konikar Ramdhenu (2003)
Like most of his films presents us with the surface of the plot right at the word go. It does deal with the essence of a troubled childhood but it rather focuses more on the psyche than the trouble- here we have a child Kukoi who runs away from his village at the tender age of 11 to work in a garage in the city. The film was shown in Indian Panorama section of IFFI during October 2002 in Delhi and Mumbai International Festival in 2003. It is the last instalment of his trilogy, the other two being Xagoroloi Bohu Door (1995) and Pokhi (1998).It won the National Award for Best Regional Film in 2003.
The film is a sensitive potrayal about an elderly couple leading a sheltered existence in a town in Assam. It’s a bare-bones story that is literally just this: a perennially-bickering old man and his wife are unexpectedly visited by the harsh realities of the outside world when their grandson Pona – an IIT Mumbai student who is the centre of their universe – goes missing on the night of 26/11. It won the National Award for Best Assamese Film and Special Mention to Bishnu Kharghoria in 2012. It was also selected for the Indian Panorama same year.
-Compiled by Dipankar Sarkar for TNT-The Northeast Today