CultureFilmVillage Rockstars: A cluster of breathtaking potraits aiming at...

Village Rockstars: A cluster of breathtaking potraits aiming at the skies


Village Rockstars is raw and true to its craft. It has a unique grandeur to itself in the way it tells its story while keeping the characters grounded. This story is set in Chyyagaon in Assam, a place very few would be able to point on the map.  Dhunnu, a 10-year old daughter of a widow, dreams of owning a real guitar one day and having a musical band of her own.

She watches a group of boys every evening who have made musical instruments out of cardboard, and pretend to play them for their own joy. Amidst this dream that she has Dhunnu learns more about life, how boys are allowed to do certain things and girls are not, what menstruation is and how everything of that is looked upon in that particular place where she resides. Apart from the coming-of-age theme, there are other important themes that bring light to complex gender issues, without being too much preachy.

This village faces a flood crisis almost every year where Dhunnu’s house gets washed off in this flood and the only option they are left with is to leave the village and come back only when the flood subsides, due to lack of funds. There is no excessive melodrama, in fact, no melodrama at all. The kids are not sad, instead, they just want the floods to be banned, but that doesn’t keep them from dreaming the things they want to be.

The film is not a commentary on the poverty that certain places of India face, it is just an insight into the lives of these people that are a part of the world and matter just in the same way anybody else would. Coming to the cinematography which is absolutely ethereal and done by the director Rima Das herself, the landscapes of this small village which very few are aware of will make one abandon the 5-star resorts and take up a vacation, amidst all that natural scenic beauty. Most of the shots are shot in low angles so that the characters appear larger than life as their dreams are in contrast to their lives, pitched against the lavish blue sky.

The film is produced, directed, written, shot, and edited by Rima Das herself. Rima Das who was brought up in Assam got half of her family as the cast of the film, including the character of Dhunnu (Bhunita Das) which won the National award, played by her cousin. In fact, she was assisted by her cousin, Mallika Das who also won the National award for on-ground sound recording which was taught to her by Rima Das herself.

The film was shot on a Canon 5D, with the use of just one lens, which Rima Das bought by selling off her jewelry and taking up a loan. Dhunnu doesn’t shout her dreams out loud, instead, she whispers them to trees, tells herself about them. The film is about a dream, is itself a dream, a living canvas of a dream realized of representing India at the Oscars.

Text by: Sreyoshi Sil, IBTN9

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