1971 war survivor Meherjaan tells her story - Guwahati Cine Club to screen film today

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 10.11.12

Nov. 9: The city’s discerning moviegoers can head towards Lakhmiram Barua Sadan near District Library tomorrow to catch the controversial Bangladeshi film, Meherjaan, which will be screened by the Guwahati Cine Club.

The club screens movies on every second and fourth Saturday, said Madhurima Barua Sen, director of the directorate of cultural affairs.

Starring Jaya Bachchan and Victor Banerjee, Meherjaan is director Rubaiyat Hossain’s debut film. The club hopes that the 119-minute film, which will be screened tomorrow at 4.30pm, will give audiences a taste of Bangladeshi films.

Meherjaan, which released in January 2011, caused a big controversy for its depiction of events during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Following sharp criticism, the film’s distributors withdrew the film from cinemas.

In the film, Meher (Jaya Bachchan) — a middle-aged sculptor and survivor of the 1971 war — walks down memory lane.

She remembers Neela, a rape victim who isn’t ashamed about her ordeal but instead decides to fight back. She remembers Khwaja Saheb, her grandfather who lost part of his homeland in the Partition and once again found himself at a loss to witness yet another rift in 1971.

And there is Meher’s own story of how she fell in love with a Pakistani man. Meher feels disgraced for loving one of the enemies. However, she finally feels forgiven when Sarah, a war-child, says Meher’s story gave her hope.

Together, Sarah and Meher gain the strength, courage and hope to go forward. Lightened and healed by the re-telling of her past, Meher rejoices by making a sculpture and Sarah goes ahead with her life as a passionate traveller.

Although set up in 1965, the club does not have a permanent building and operates from a private apartment on GS Road. Barua said they had approached the state government for a plot of land to set up a permanent building for the club. “Since our financial condition is not strong enough to buy a plot of land in the city, we have approached the state government for the land to set up a permanent building,” said Barua.

The club has more than 200 members, excluding the 45 life members.

Barua said they have been trying to attract students of schools, colleges and universities. “Last year, we organised a children’s film festival. The upcoming film festival, which will be held from December 10 to 16, will also focus on college and university students,” she said.

The GCC was set up under the leadership of music maestro Bhupen Hazarika and a handful of film lovers. The aim of the club is to create awareness in society about cinema as a serious art form and generate serious debate in the cinematic and intellectual world of Assam.