News & Information From Northeast India

Sherdukpen language film based on Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi’s novel

Award winning Assamese filmmaker Bobby Sarma Baruah is making a film in Sherdukpen language which is spoken by just around 4,000 people in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh. The film named ‘Mishing’ is based on the novel with the same name written by Sahitiya Akademy award winning author Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi.

“We are extremely happy to announce that we have already completed the shooting for the film and the editing too will be completed shortly. I’m sure this is going to be a beautiful film which was shot in some of the beautiful locations in Arunachal Pradesh,” Baruah said on Monday.

Mishing deals with folklore of the Sherdukpen people. Mishing means the spirit of dying people that appears before their near and dear ones. The plot of the film is based in the 1980s.

“I quite like the novel. So, I decided to make the film in Sherdukpen language. But it’s very difficult. I just can’t copy the novel as it is. I have taken the story and tried to script it in a creative way. At the same time I also need to keep it in my mind that the essence of the story in the novel is not missed,” added Baruah whose previous film ‘Sonar Baran Pakhi’ (The Golden Wings), a biopic based on the life of legendary folk singer Pratima Barua Pandey of Assam, has won accolades from different parts of the globe.

Ninety per cent of the artistes of the film are locals and just a few characters are from Assam. In the process, Baruah also appreciated her daughter Sulakhyana Baruah for motivating her by being a co-producer.

Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi who has won a number of awards for his literary works said that he is highly hopeful that the director will be able to do justice to the story.

“Many people in the past have approached me for making films on my novels but I was never keen to allow them. I have become choosy. But after watching her (Baruah) work, I’m sure, she will be able to do it properly,” said Thongchi.

He also thinks that the film will also help in preserving the Sherdukpen language which is in the threshold of the extinction.

The Sherdukpen are an ethnic group related to both the Aka and Monpa. Their population of 4,000 is centered in West Kameng in the villages of Rupa, Jigaon, Thongri, Shergaon, in Bomdila of Arunachal Pradesh.

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