News & Information From Northeast India

An ode to Barpeta: ‘Moluwa’ explores unique facets of this lower Assam town

National Award winning filmmaker Samujjal Kashyap’s new documentary film Moluwa is an audio-visual tribute to Barpeta, one of the most significant towns of Assam.

The 50-minute documentary endeavours to explore some interesting as well as unique facets of Barpeta, located in lower Assam, which is also known as a temple town.

All the characters are real and they are an integral part of the place and its culture, a story that is very much rooted and which was hardly told before.

“They (characters) speak from the core of their heart as it is their story which is very dear to them and hence, the title ‘Moluwa’ which means ‘the adorable one’ in local dialect,” Kashyap told The News Mill.

Kashyap won the National Award in 2015 for his first documentary ‘Tezpur 1962’ under the Best Investigative Film category.

In his new documentary, the filmmaker has tried to give an unbiased reflection of the various things happening inside Barpeta Satra, a vaishnavite monastery including on restriction of entry of women into ‘Kirtan-Ghar’ (the main prayer hall). Apart from that the film also threw some light on the efforts for the conservation of the 500-year-old Assamese folk song Naukhel Geet (boat race song) among others.

Some of the notable characters are Gokul Pathak, a freedom fighter, a prominent author and also a journalist who passed away a couple of days ago, Pramath Ranjan Kanti who is a researcher on Sattriya culture, folk artist Nakul Das and author and a retired professor Amiya Mahanta among others.

“I was so lucky to spend some time with Gokul Pathak two years back. What a towering personality in the field of art, culture and literature from Barpeta. He also advocated the minimalistic way of living in the truest sense I believe. His works and deeds will keep him alive forever. He was also Bishnu Rabha’s closest aide, friend and a follower,” Kashyap said on Pathak.

Besides, another important element of the documentary is the famous Holi festival and Holi Geets (songs) of Barpeta pictured and depicted well.

“Barpeta being my hometown has been always close to my heart. Whenever I visited the place, I used every available opportunity to capture interesting scenes and a few lost stories hoping that someday it would blossom into a visual poetry that would give a much deeper meaning to its beauty, culture and history. I have tried to string them together in such a way so that the documentary can emphasize the various wonders of Barpeta in a poetic flow. The scenes have been thoughtfully filmed to maintain the essence of continuity,” he said.

Apart from directing, Kashyap has also written and edited the documentary besides doing the cinematography.


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