Government to can documentary on poet - Film on Bhima Bhoi to focus on inspriration, caste struggle

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By PRIYA ABRAHAM in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 20.07.08

Bhubaneswar, July 20: The life and times of Orissa’s tribal poet Bhima Bhoi would soon be made into a film.

The documentary, once attempted earlier, had to be shelved for more than three years following a controversy regarding the film’s contents.

The film division under the ministry of information and broadcasting has started work on the project and the first phase of work is complete.

Bhima Bhoi, an outstanding poet of Orissa, was also a propagator of “Satya Ahima Dharma” movement in Orissa. He was born in a Kandha family in Granadih village of Rairakhol sub-division in Sambalpur district of Orissa in the year of 1850.

Bhima Bhoi was a visually impaired and an illiterate man, but penned some of the most poignant and devotional poems of Oriya literature.

This film would deal with his relation to Mahima Gosain, his guru, who propagated the Mahima cult. The documentary would also feature his fight to break free of caste constraints. The story will also delve into his relationship with Annapurna, his spiritual consort living with him in Khaliapali ashram. Apart from Annapurna, he had three other consorts, too.

The state ministry’s film division had planned a documentary in 2004. However, objections of factual error and distortions pushed the script behind for years.

This time, the film is being directed by Santosh Kumar Prushty and is being produced by Sandip Ray.

“We will try to focus on his life and philosophy. Unlike last time, this documentary has been washed clean of all controversies,” said Sadanand Agrawal, the director of Bhima Bhoi Samadhipitha Trust.

The locations for the shooting would be Khaliapali and Joranda, the headquarters of Mahima cult with some spots of Dhenkanal. “The shooting will start from September,” he said. “The documentary will be an authentic and attractive account.

Bhima Bhoi is the first Orissa poet on who the film division is making a documentary on,” said Agrawal.

Jubuli Sunderray is slated to play Bhima Bhoi. With this film the ministry wishes to promote documentary film movement in Orissa. The feature would be telecast on national and local television networks. Meanwhile, the film’s music recording has started with four bhajans.