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Basundhara: First Assamese movie released in 2010
At a time when Assamese cinema is reeling under a prolonged drought, the release of the first movie- Basundhara: The Earth in this new year has ushered in some ray of hope for the makers and the movie buffs alike.
WITH HIS directorial debut on the big screen, Hiren Bora attempts an introspection on the very poignant problem of man-elephant conflict in Assam, the north eastern state of India. In his words, ‘the movie reflects the awareness (rather ignorance) of public interest and social importance among the fringe area people of the state.

The storyline of ‘Basundhara –The Earth’, traces the agony of the inhabitants of a forest range who live in constant danger arising from the intensifying conflict between man and elephants thanks to ecological disaster. Many times in frenzy of raze, the wild elephants attack the villagers, plunder upon their crops, rampage huts and what not.

The story traces the introduction of a sensitive and savvy non-government organisation (NGO) activist to this harsh reality of man-elephant conflict. She takes on this challenge to give a better meaning to her life after being shunned by her fiance. At the threshold of her journey into the wilderness where might rules, she encounters the soothing and encouraging support from a local journalist. From him she comes to know that rampant deforestation under the crusading command of a local mafia and timber trader has led to acute shortage of natural dwelling place for these wild beasts who are forced to venture into human settlements.
Together they take up the mantle of creating awareness among the simple locals about the impending danger. As a tragedy of fate, the courageous voice of the journalist was silenced for ever at the behest of the mafia. With renewed vigour, firm determination and an unconquerable will, the NGO activist continues the battle till the war is won.

Director Hiren Bora who has written the story has done a worth-watching cinematic presentation of a pertinent problem plaguing many parts of this Northeastern state of Assam. Ace cinematographer, Vivek Banerjee from Mumbai elevates the visual treat with master-strokes through the lenses as he captures some of the dramatic moments, the core element of the movie. Soothing music by national award winning young musician, Tarali Sarma adds lustre to the otherwise bold and rustic theme.

One of the frontline actresses of Assam, Barsha Rani Bishaya does full justice to her role as Basundhara, the NGO activist ably supported by the rest of the cast comprising many veterans like Bishnu Kharghoria, Saurav Hazarika and Bhagawat Pritam alongside host of newcomers. Even the performance of Dr Iftikar Ahmed in the antagonist’s role was convincing like all others in the supporting cast.

This is the first major release in this year that has hit the theatres last Friday ie, on January 15. Produced under the banner of Suravi Enterprise (TV and Film Division), the movie is directed by Hiren Bora. This is in fact, his maiden outing in celluloid. Hiren Bora has been associating himself with the medium of cinema from quite an young age. After involving himself with several projects, Bora began his independent journey by producing and directing TV serials, apart from several documentaries produced for Doordarshan.

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