Sequel to earlier documentary to take artist through his dreams

Biographical documentaries seldom get a sequel, particularly in Malayalam. But that’s going to be a thing of the past with Binuraj Kalapeetom’s forthcoming documentary on veteran artist Namboodiri with a working title, ‘Namboodiri: Varnangalude Swpnadakan’.

Binuraj, who had earlier made a 45-minute documentary, ‘Namboodiri-Varayude Kulapathy’, on the life, times and art of the towering figure as Kerala’s cultural strength, is now planning an experimental film on the long-cherished dreams of the artist.

“In what will be an uncommon documentary, it will present a less-known artist Namboodiri. If the first film focused on his artistic evolution and presence from a historical perspective, the sequel takes the artist through his dreams,” says Binuraj.

Namboodiri, as a 28-year-old painter, dreamt of migrating to Paris. He desired to wander the streets of the city, known for its patronage of art and literature, like many of his ilk from Kerala. There was a strong urge in him to live, work and die in that city of the arts, says Binuraj.

“The 30-minute sequel, a fantasy, will show the artist living his dream. We are planning to film in Paris from May, depending on Namboodiri sir’s health and the weather there. It will be a silent film, with the telling done by moving images complemented by background score.” Notably, the crew and technicians of the first documentary on Namboodiri are returning to collaborate for the sequel too. Both editions are produced by Shafeer Abbas.

Binuraj, in the meantime, has already begun to film a documentary titled ‘Devaspandanam’ on another senior artist, M.V. Devan, who like Namboodiri contributed to the artistic riches of the State. “Nobody has clearly understood or studied the artistic achievements of Devan sir and his role in creating an artistic identity for the State,” says Binuraj.

Along with M.K.K. Nayar, a bureaucrat with an artistic bend of mind, he was instrumental in making the All India Writers’ Conference in the early 1970s a stupendous success. Before that, as soon as he returned from Chennai after completing studies, he held his first exhibition in Kozhikode.

The documentary will showcase his paintings, sculptures, noted illustrations including those done for Vaikom Muhammed Basheer’s works, and speeches that drew big crowds, he says.

K.K. Dharmarajan, Binuraj’s father who wrote the script for the documentary on artist Namboodiri, is scripting the one on Devan as well. It will be produced by R.V. Sathyan Rio.

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