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Assam: Bodo film Sijou, which exposes cruelty of feudal system on Indo-Bhutan border, premiered at IFFI

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Assam: Sijou, a Bodo language film that was previously unknown and undeveloped, exposes the terrible severity of the feudal land tenure system that existed over the Indo-Bhutan border until 1958.

The film, which screened as part of the Indian Panorama Feature Film section at the 52nd IFFI, is about a young kid named Sijou who lives in Saikhong Guri hamlet near the Indo-Bhutan border in Assam.

When he becomes a victim of the Feudal Land Tenure System, his life takes an unfortunate turn. The boy becomes a monk as a result of the events that follow. 

52nd IFFI Assam The North-Eastern Chronicle

Film’s director, Vishal P. Chaliha, remarked at a press conference on Saturday

As per reports by NE Now, Vishal P. Chaliha, the film’s director, remarked at a press conference on Saturday, “When I think of slavery, the picture of Africa used to come to my mind. I never knew that slavery was also prevalent next to my home.”

He stated that when the producer presented him with the subject, it immediately struck a chord with him, and he decided to make the film.

In terms of preparations, the director stated that he visited Bhutan and all of the bordering villages, where he met with the locals.

Film took about six months to complete

“There was no written record available on it. It all existed only in the minds of the descendants of the victims of this brutal feudal system,” he stated. 

He also stated that the film took about six months to complete. To conduct the research, the team resided in Bhutan and the surrounding communities.

“The descendants narrated the story very beautifully, because of which I could form a good script,” he added.

*About the film*

Vishal P. Chaliha, an Assamese filmmaker and screenwriter, has previously directed and written the films ’40 Years in the Wild’ (2020) and ‘Sabdhan,’ a documentary film (2017).

The storey follows Sijou, a little kid from Saikhong Guri hamlet in Assam, who lives close to the Indo-Bhutan border.

He’s a happy youngster who enjoys playing with his buddies. When he becomes a victim of the Feudal Land Tenure System, his life takes an unfortunate turn.

Until 1958, the FLTS was in effect in Bhutan, and it also affected individuals living along the Indo-Bhutan border areas. The boy becomes a monk as a result of the events that follow.

Preeyam Kherkatary founded Vishal Films in Guwahati in 2001

In 2009, the film ‘The Tai Phakeys’ won the National Film Award for Best Anthropological Film.

Omprakash Kherkatary founded Shivam Productions in Assam in 2017. Vishal Films produced its debut feature picture, ‘Sijou.’

Bishal Sarmah edited the film, and Bijit Basumatary plays the leading part.

Vishal P. Chaliha wrote the screenplay, and Ashutosh Kashyap is the director of photography.



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