Filmmaker Rajni Basumatary’s Bodo film ‘Jwlwi – The Seed’ has been released on YouTube by the director-producer to reach out to a wider audience. The critically acclaimed film, based on insurgency of the 90s in Assam, has gathered more than 1.20 lakh views within 24 hours of its release on April 8.
“A number of people were asking me where to watch ‘Jwlwi – The Seed’. I am glad that me and my co-producer took this decision to release the film on YouTube. Now you can watch the film for free,” Rajni Basumatary said.
‘Jwlwi – The Seed’ depicts the horror of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and how people were affected by insurgency during the 90s in several parts of Assam. The Bodo language film deals with the struggle of families who lost their near and dear ones when the insurgency was at peak in Assam and the northeast region.
The film was released at select theatres in western Assam on November 15, 2019. It was screened at the third edition of Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) in front of a packed audience. The film travelled to various other festivals, including Chennai International Film Festival, Kolkata International Film Festival, Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Pune International Film Festival and the Tehran International Cine Fest.
Writer, director and producer Rajni Basumatary, who herself witnessed the horror of AFSPA in the late 1980s and 90s, said that the world must know this sordid saga of people living in this part of India.
A strong advocate of repealing the AFSPA, Rajni plays protagonist Alaari in the film. The film shows Alaari’s journey to bring home her last offspring after the family crumbles amid insurgency.
‘Jwlwi – The Seed’ was submitted for the National Film Awards but was not selected for the top honour. Post this, actor-director Rajni Basumatary wrote an open letter to chairman of the feature films jury for not awarding any Bodo film this year.
In her strongly-worded letter to jury chairman N Chandra, Basumatary alleged that her Bodo language film ‘Jwlwi – The Seed’ was ignored by the jury because the “lack of awareness of the region, its people and their history”.