Abu Dhabi, Oct 29: Watching his awarded Assamese film "Halodiya Choraye Baodhan Khai" with an audience full of people from various regions here left veteran filmmaker Jahnu Barua emotional at the ongoing Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF).
He seemed overwhelmed after the screening of the National Award-winning film, which tackles the plight of farmers in rural areas of India through his protagonist Rakeswar's journey from innocence to experience.
"I am a little emotional. I loved it. I love all my films. But watching this today touched my heart," Barua said post the screening, which was held at the VOX Cinemas in Marina Mall here.
The movie, which is referred to as "The Catastrophe" here, was showcased as a part of the 'Celebrating Indian Cinema' section, a special programme dedicated to the celebration of Indian cinema's centenary year.
"I am seeing the film after 20 years and I am really touched," he said, adding how restoration of films like his own is turning out to be a boon for the cinema world.
He said this was his first attempt at making a film based on a novel, and he made significant changes to the story's end to give it a positive tone.
"Halodiya Choraye Baodhan Khai", which literally translates to 'the yellow bird eats the grain in the field', is about farmer Rakeswar, whose rich neighbour asks him to either surrender his land or repay the mortgage that Rakeswar's father had taken.
The film gives a vivid and moving description of the hardships surrounding his family's survival, and also touches upon the corruption in the system.
In the end, Rakeswar gets his land back. However, he has lost his innocence by then.
The audience, which also comprised known Indian faces like filmmaker Aparna Sen and actors Tillotama Shome and Rasika Duggal, was a mixed bag.
With them, Barua shared little known facets of the movie - like how the lead actor (Indra Bania) had no experience in acting, and he himself trained the man to be a farmer for four months.
The filmmaker also said that while they were shooting at an area near Guwahati, he waited for 17 days for actual rain to pour so that he could maintain the authenticity about the film.
What he, however, lamented was: "I wish we then had the technology that we have today. The film would have come out much better."
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at email@example.com)