Jwlwi- The Seed, is a Bodo narrative that brought the horrors of 90’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) into the spotlight. The history of the violent revolution in North East India was witnessed by many but none understood the true horror of it for the locals.
Rajni Basumatary’s effort to light up the dark past with the narrative might accentuate the worldview of the loss and the longingness which was resulted out of the conflict.
Rajni Basumatary is the one who directed, produced and acted in the lead role of Alaari, the mother who led the journey of fortifying her growing son from the rising turbulence in her land.
It is indeed a tragic tale of a land torn apart by conflict and violence between the two forces, the AFSPA and the insurgents, where every family have had to suffer the loss and despair.
Basumatary has also witnessed the horror and suffered unendurable pain of losing her own nephews and brothers who were never to be seen again, till date.
“To date, our family doesn’t know what really happened to my brother. Was he killed? Was he kidnapped? Is he still around? My parents lived and died, carrying this burden. In a way, making this film gave me the closure I long sought,” the author said.
Basumatary is known for her role of Mangte Akham Kom, mother of Indian Olympic boxing champion Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte in the Omung Kumar directed biopic Mary Kom where Priyanka Chopra played the role of the boxer. She said, “For the longest time, I wouldn’t call myself an actor — but after doing Jwlwi I’ve begun referring to myself as one.”
The film has a universal appeal. The story of the film belongs to everyone living anywhere in the violence-prone conflicted areas. The filmmaker remarked, “It is the story of a family torn apart by violence, it is about insurgents and it is about the soldiers of the Indian army and also about those who wanted to solve the issue through peaceful means.
Each one of them had a reason through which they became a part of the conflict. This is a universal theme. It can be related to anyone on this planet whose life was affected or impacted by violence, whether it is in Jammu and Kashmir, West Asia, South America, Afghanistan or other conflict-ridden places.”
The growth of the regional cinema has marked the Indian cinematic landscape in recent times. The rise of these regional-indie films has in fact reached out to the global audience.
Rajni Basumatary is one among those brave Indian filmmakers who are ready to claim a significant place in the history of regional-indie films. Recently, the poster and the trailer of the film released in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The film will release soon and will be her unbiased mature voice to tell the dark path of the history to the innocent people who were affected in the violence. Since there is a handful of theatre in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD), she will initiate the village-to-village screening of the film through projectors to reach out to all those who witnessed the horror.
“The halls that existed two decades ago are no longer there, barring a few, and in some places, new ones have come up. To bridge the gap, I have decided to bring the film to the doorstep of villagers. This village-to-village approach will help them watch a film based on human frailty and humanity. But the film is not just for entertainment but also imparts a message that people need to see and understand,” the filmmaker said.