Kripal Kalita’s Assamese language film ‘The Bridge’ throws light on the devastations and hardships that floods bring to Assam villages every year. “There is no solution in sight for this problem. I, being a farmer’s son hailing from rural Assam, have faced this”, said Kalita, while addressing a press conference today, at the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI), being held in Goa, on the IFFI 51 Indian Panorama Feature Film. National Award-winning film director and script-writer Blessy Ipe Thomas was also present at the media briefing, to speak about his 2019 documentary ‘100 Years of Chrysostom – A Biographical Film’, which is being showcased in the Indian Panorama Non Feature Film Section of IFFI 51.
Every year, the mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries flood many villages and ruin cultivation. Kalita said that the film’s protagonist Jonaki goes through an unusual struggle caused by floods. Her plight gets aggravated by the absence of a bridge over the river. But, in the end, she becomes empowered, signifying “life must go on”.
Kalita, an independent film-maker, coming from a theatre background, have taken mostly newcomers as crew and cast for the film. “Shiva Rani Kalita who plays the role of ‘Jonaki’ was chosen after a screen-testing done on 300 college-goers and theatre artists. The film, made with limited resources, was shot in a real flood situation in Upper Assam. For a particular shot, the crew had to remain submerged in flood-water for seven hours. Even real scenes of people struggling in the flood waters have been used in the film.”