Lost & found after 40 yrs: Runumi print - Assam film recovered from the house of director's relative in Guwahati

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 15.03.10

Guwahati, March 14: The only existing print of the ninth Assamese film, Runumi, has been found after over four decades, bringing to light a lost treasure of Assamese cinema.

Directed and produced by writer late Suresh Chandra Goswami, the print of the film was found at the Biswanath Chariali residence of Goswami’s brother-in-law Lakshminath Borthakur.

Lakshminath Borthakur had taken the film for screening in tea gardens in the early sixties.

His son, Amiya Borthakur, found the print, which was languishing in a tin trunk at their residence and returned it to Goswami’s family.

Utpal Borpujari, Goswami’s grandson and a film critic, said here today that the 13 reels of the film were still in the original cans and have been brought to the Guwahati residence of Goswami’s daughter, Dolly Borpujari.

The family has contacted the relevant people in Mumbai to clean the print and transfer it to other formats.

They also plan to contact the National Film Archives of India (NFAI) in Pune, as preliminary checks of the print indicated that a significant part of the film could still be intact.

The condition of the print would be known only after experts check it.

Based on Goswami’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play The Warriors at Helgeland, Runumis story was set in Assam and Nagaland (then a part of Assam).

Also a noted exponent of Sattriya, Goswami had learnt the basics of filmmaking by observing the legendary Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla at work.

The film evoked a good response in Upper Assam but the government banned it suddenly without any reason when the late Bishnu Ram Medhi was the chief minister, leaving Goswami bankrupt.

Goswami’s family has appealed to Dispur to reveal to the people the reasons for banning the film and also come to help restore and preserve the film, which is part of Assam’s cinematic heritage.

They have also appealed to those directly or indirectly associated with the making of Runumi, or anyone who has any material related to the film to send or share these materials with the family here.