IIHS film this month is 'Sikhirini Mwsanai'

The film for August, shown as part of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements' (IIHS) online monthly screenings, is Sikhirini Mwsanai (Dance of the Butterfly) by Subasri Krishnan, an independent filmmaker who also leads the IIHS Media Lab.

While her earlier film, What the Fields Remember, is on the Nellie massacre that took place in Assam in 1983, Sikhirini Mwsanai (which means dance of the butterfly in Bodo) expresses the delicate rhythms of traditional Bodo music and dance. The film traces the journey of Sifung Harimu Afad, a cultural troupe comprising young Bodos as they rediscover those rhythms in their efforts to revive live music and dance performance in Chirang district, Assam.

Talking about the film, Subasri says, “I was back in Assam about two years after completing What the Fields Remember to continue working on some of the ideas that I could not explore in the film. After working on a film that was so deeply tragic, it was very life-affirming to be on The Action North East Trust campus and see the women work and see young Bodos trying to revive a certain culture. I saw forms of life which spoke to a way of being and living which I was very drawn to personally but also in a larger sense of politics. Additionally, the music was just very beautiful.”

On what has drawn her so strongly to Assam, Subasri whose forthcoming film, Shadow Line, is on the NRC and CAA in the state, says: “I lived in Assam as a child so it’s not a place that’s unfamiliar in terms of language etc. But there are a few broad ideas that I am interested in looking at through my nonfiction films. One is what is the category of citizen and non-citizen in the 20th and 21st Century and that’s very deeply tied to the framework of what you call nation-state. Assam and different things in the state give me a lens through which to examine some of these ideas.”

Subasri will be in conversation with filmmaker Hansa Thapliyal on August 31 at 6 pm. Join via Zoom or the IIHS Facebook page.

Watch Sikhirini Mwsanai at The password is assam2019. What the Fields Remember is available on YouTube.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 2:41:26 AM |

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