The Village Rockstars when just started hitting, the name, I felt the impact and power of it, way before watching the movie. Several nights, I got goosebumps thinking and wondering about Rima Das, how single-handedly she wrote, directed, cinematographed and produce the film with a single hand-held camera. Truly a one-woman show. Indeed I was looking for every opportunity to watch the movie for several months. On December 17th, Village Rockstars the assamese film was screened in MOMA NYC. The first Indian film to be screened in MoMA,, I just couldn't resist.
Village Rockstars, solace and the soothe of being so real and relatable with the great dose of emotional and visual sensitivity. Set in the quint village of Assam, a 10-year-old little girl Dhunu dreams of having a guitar one day. Away from over drama and the glamorous world, village rockstars portrait little slices of life's hope, aspiration, dream, and resilience. Village Rockstars, breathe and aired in Assamese village, Assamese rice field, the flood of Assam, Assamese folk belief, tradition, tad bit of Assamese culture, hand-loom, Assamese women wearing Thuria, Japi(Assamese hat) etc presented into a global appeal.
Kudos to Rima Das's direction, without casting any trained actor, the acting of regular village folks looked so real and pure. The admirable lush, serene landscape of the village, there is a natural disaster like the flood that destroys their home, field, and animals every year but not their hope. This is the true aesthetic of the film as hope is higher, the dream is dogmatism. There is the daily grind to make ends meet yet, Dhunu's widow mother thrives to give her joy by buying a guitar. The lack of abundance couldn't take away the beauty of life. The rain, paper boat, swing, climbing the battle nut tree and hiding the head with colocasia leaves from rain and those carefree days will rejuvenate one's childhood. The wise man in the movie brings back the plethora of memory of my grandfather whose stories we listened to, in our open courtyard. Director Rima Das embraces " Less is more" in the movie, as silence played an integral part of the movie yet said so much. Her acute observation of life in the celluloid is like sheer bliss - a girl playing with a goat, a suspended bamboo bridge, a wide sky with mellow clouds and that half drawn house in flood and eating rice with salt. It will melt your heart away with Dhunu holding the cardboard guitar while sleeping and at the end her mother coming home crossing the paddy fields with the guitar in her hands. A slow-burning therapeutic heartfelt movie with hope, charm, and affection.
The Movie ended in MoMa with a round of applause from the room full of a happy audience at the end. We are incredibly delighted and honored to meet Rima Das and can't wait for her next "Bulbul can Sing".