Angry young man in the master’s footsteps

In 1995, Jahnu Barua won international acclaim for his poignant movie Hkhagoroloi Bohu Door, which raised many pointed questions about the state and its society.

Now, the latest sensation of Assamese filmmaking, Shankar Borua, is ready with his answers through an experimental film titled Hkhagor Paluhi.

The central character of the film —Bakhar Barua — will be played by National School of Drama graduate Adil Hussain, who has been making waves in London as Othello in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece.

“It will be an experimental film, something which has not been tried in India so far,” Borua, hailed as the angry young man of Assamese filmdom, told The Telegraph. He will start shooting early next year.

He revealed that Hkhagor Paluhi — titled The Realisation in English — will be, “metaphorically a dialogue between me and the man I consider my master”. Borua had worked as an assistant to Jahnu Barua in Hkhagoroloi Bohu Door.

“Jahnu Barua’s film showcased a pristine innocence of Assam which, however, is not there anymore. I want to portray the dirty underbelly of today’s society,” Borua said.

According to the young filmmaker, whose first feature film Hepaah was released last week to rave reviews, his next venture will be a “brutal depiction of the disenchantment of the young generation”.

Borua — who describes himself as “the Assamese storyteller” — has taken the film scene by storm with Hepaah, which has been described by critics as “a refreshing experience”.

Revolving round the rise of a ragtag band of small-town musicians, Hepaah tells the story of hope and frustration of the young generation against the “politically turbulent backdrop”.

Borua will now travel to Toronto, where he is based, to seek a “world audience” for Hepaah.

Shankar Borua’s signature theme lies in his visiting card — “When the camel decides to sit, the night knows it’s time for the new story”. The time for the new story, he said, is at hand.