News & Information From Northeast India

An Assamese poet’s saga at Berlin’s Rencontres Internationales

Rencontres Internationales, a major event in Berlin, dedicated to the contemporary practices of filmmaking, is going to screen a documentary on noted Assamese poet Aban Chakraborty, who has remained traceless after having gone missing in 1994. This is being touted as a special moment for Assamese cinema.

The 22-minute experimental 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 Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Germany’s national centre for the presentation and discussion of international contemporary arts, in Berlin on August 26 along with some of the best contemporary works.  It will also be live streamed which the viewers from across the globe can get the access for free.

“It’s a huge boost and motivation for us as filmmakers. It means a lot to be screening at Berlin and Paris. They are known for the appreciation of arts. It’s a fantastic feeling. It’s introducing ourselves in front of the viewers from round the world,” Das told The News Mill.

Earlier, the documentary was screened at the Louvre Museum in Paris on February 29 as part of the Les Rencontres Internationales.

Das has written scripts for feature films like ‘Haanduk’ and ‘Sonar Baran Pakhi’, as well as TV serials. Guwahati-based Dorendra, who is an alumni of the Dr Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film and Television Institute, has made several documentaries.

“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,” the official website describes and termed the documentary as an experimental film.

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. His anthologies include ‘Deha Romeromai Mur’ (1970), ‘Slogan’ (1980), ‘Kabikantha’ (1987), autobiographical novelette ‘Sankardev Uddyan, Si aru Apurba’ (1990), edited anthologies ‘Britta Bhangar Samay’ (1972), ‘Ai Samay’ (1972), ‘Parashu Goswamir Kabita’ (1989) and ‘Amulya Baruar Jeevan aru Kabita’ (1990).

At the Rencontres Internationales, the leading figures in the fields of cinema, contemporary art and digital art, as well as artists, researchers and supervisors of cultural institutions and emerging organisations, are brought together to share their experiences and reflections in the context of art and culture, as they emerge and evolve today.


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