Film Dialogues

Ishanou among 27 films for IFFI

Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, Nov 25 – The critically-acclaimed Manipuri feature film, Ishanou (1990), one of the masterpieces of Aribam Syam Sharma, has been included among 27 Indian feature films to be screened at the Centenary Indian Cinema section of the 43rd International Film Festival of India(IFFI), 2012 being held at Goa fromNovember 20-30.
According to Manipur InformationCentre, New Delhi, Ishanou (Chosen One) was the official selection of the Government of India for screening at the Cannes International Film Festival, 1991 and was the first ever film from the North-east showcased at the prestigious Cannes Festival.
The 91-minute colour film tells the extraordinary story of a young wife, Anoubam Kiranmala who suddenly begins to experience a series of fits and trances which the doctors cannot cure. A happy small family, somewhere in the Manipur valley,a husband (Kangabam Tomba) and wife and their little girl (Baby Molly) under the caring and protective authority of a market woman (Manbi) breaks up when Tampha, the young wife, is possessed by the divinity of the mysterious Maibi phenomenon and goes through a series of violent feats of vision and trance till she runs away from home in frantic nocturnal quest of her Maibi Guru for initiation into the sect of the chosen.
Magic and mystery break upon the mundane world of buying and selling and common rituals like that of a young girl's ears being pierced and buying of a second-hand scooter and a promotion in office, bringing into play the world of the Maibis with their exquisite ritual singing and dancing and worship and myth-making.
But behind the colourful spectacleof traditional Lai Haraoba, into which Tampha almost loses herself in enraptured absorption, there lurks the pain of a mother who can no longer nurture a childwho is by then a stranger. The film closes on those images of estrangement that almost stifles the sheer grandeur and glory of the ritual festival.
Eminent littérateur MK Binodini scripted the screenplay of the story. Girish Padhiar was the cameraman and Ujjwal Nandi wasthe editor. (AssamTribune)

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