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Sonam's polyandriac society to etch Arunachal on world cinema

Written by: Staff

Guwahati, Oct 27 (UNI) Arunachal Pradesh makes a maiden entry into mainstream cinema with an eponymous film--''Sonam''--that makes a cut into the Indian Panorama to fix a date with festivals like Cannes and Berlin and dares to deal with a subject like polyandry.

Based on Assamese novel 'Sonam' by Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi, the film has been directed by Ahsun Mazid, a Doordarshan employee, for whom the film has been a labour of love and toil.

Set in the idyllic location of Himalaya foothills, Sonam deals with polyandry in a small society called Brokpas, a society of Yak shepherds who live on the slopes of the Himalayan range. As per the custom in the region, a wife can have more than one husband.

The director deals directly with the labyrinthine situation when a husband offers to accept the lover of his wife as co-husband.

The presence of the new husband catapulted the first husband out and he becomes lonely.

Sonam silently starts suffering both in body and mind. Being a believer of Buddhism she indulges herself in it for a total and ultimate atonement in her own death.

''Polyandry among the tribe, under which a Monpa woman becomes the common wife of all the brothers of a family to which she is married, is attributed to the rearing of yak,'' said Mr Mazid.

The film will now be one of the two films to vie for top honours across the globe in the competitive section of Indian Panorama and will be a part of the globe-trotting Indian film section.

''I was delighted and all my works of last 10 years have paid off,'' said Mr Ahsun Mazid, a first time director.

''I knew the film will do well and I did expect it to enter Indian panorama,'' said Mr Mazid.

''What is most interesting aspect is that except the lead actor who is from Sikkim, none of the other actors have ever seen a cemera before,'' said Mr Mazid.

Shot at above 10,000 feet altitude in Tawang region, which itself is a big achievement, in the picture perfect ambience with the entire Himalayan range in the backdrop, the film is indeed poised to break new grounds in cinematography, showcasing the sombre topography of the region.

The life and lore of Monpas, a colorful tribe inhabiting the high altitude of Arunachal Pradesh bordering China, was filmed in spring of 2005 and completed the post production this summer.

Arunachal Pradesh .

Raju Mazid and wife Archana not only dreamt about the project since 1994, but from 2000 onwards made it a part of their living shelling out a mammoth Rs 60 lakhs, with very little expectation of ever getting back the money.


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