In the history of modern cinema, film critics and theorists have long given their intellectual support to the practice of realist film making. In a nutshell, the realist film offers the possibility of "the mechanical imitation of nature" in which original and copy become indistinguishable in the eyes of the common man whom we refer as the viewer. The great directors like Bazin, Bresson, De Sica, Renoir, Rossellini, and Orson Welleshad a common desire to put cinema in a very simple fundamental faith called “reality” where cinema will be identified as the fulfillment of the human craving for realistic representation and feeling. And vision and mission of modern cinema lies exactly there with its goal - simplicity, purity, and transparency.
|Dr. Bhabendranath Saikia|
Among the masters of realist cinema, it’s our common tendency to pick-up the western directors (especially Italian and the French) as fundamentals and finest. But, when we think of my own country India, which is considered to be one of the greatest film producing nation in the world, we need to nominate Dr.Bhabendranath Saikia from the land of Assam as a maestro of realist movies in this entire peninsula. He was a genius craftsman and as an Assamese, we always feel proud and render our deepest respect for his great creative works in the field of modern movie making. In his films, Dr. Saikia artistically projected the lives of the people of Assam, Assamese culture, socio-political issues, and ideological conflicts, issue of existence and complexities, confusions, morals and values deeply rooted in our own Assamese environment. He penned-down his stories visualizing the people of Assam and his own land and transformed it into chemistry of light and shade. Without a second thought, one can easily distinguish his creativity under the movement mentioned above, the “realism” and call him the finest realist we ever had in Assam and in india. He always tried to define his own work as, "I cannot make films which are contrary to realism. I have never made such films, nor I would make in future. My cinema depicts true aspects of human life, with possible creative inputs from me, both as a writer and filmmaker." True, his creations like the Sandhyaraag (Cry of Twilight), Agnisnaan (Ordeal), Kolahal (The Turmoil), Sarothi (The Shelter), Abartan (On the Run) simply depicts the puzzles of human life, miseries, sorrows, pain and hope that will bring about a change.
In the context of present scenario, it's our social and moral responsibility to preserve these assets for our own state and our own people. The vision and the philosophy curved in each and every cinema of Dr. Saikia is priceless, we need to realize it and we need to start adore it. The Department of Cultural Affairs of Assam has a lot responsibilities, they need to design a blueprint for preserving and marketing these great masterpieces of Dr. Saikia. we hope, this department with a helping hand from the responsible authorities of Government of Assam will take sincere and moral initiatives to make this dream a success and preserve our own cultural glory for the future.
By Mukul M Baishya