Interview: Bengali Film-Maker Indranil Banerjee Talks About KONO EK MEYE (2011), SHIKAR UTSAV (2007) & His Movies

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[Bengali Film-Maker Indranil Banerjee]Calcutta, April 19, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Indranil Banerjee is an independent film-maker from Kolkata who has previously made a couple of documentaries and a short film. Indranil chats with Arijit Chakraborty on WBRi in this informal but candid audio interview.

[A still from Kono Ek Meye]

His first Bengali fiction short film Kono Ek Meye takes up women's rights and portrays the evils of sexual molestation of the girl child, which, in most cases, is perpetrated by close family members - a six-year old girl's uncle in the case in Indranil's film.

Indranil has made a documentary on the messages of Swami Vivekananda, and his film Shikar Utsav (Bengali, 2007), English title: The Hunting Festival, is a 30-minute wildlife conservation-oriented film about a tribal event held on the night of the full moon of Buddha Purnima in Ayodhya Hills of Purulia district in West Bengal, India. The night is marked by a great gathering of members of various tribes from a wide region, shikar (hunting), bidding drums (madal), drinking Haria (liquor), eating and dancing. The film was screened at the 2008 LEH CMS Vatavaran Environment & Wildlife Film Festival.

An artist, and a professional graphic designer currently employed by a multinational information technology giant, Indranil tends to make films individually his own natural way. A graduate of Government Art college with a degree in painting,  his work has been displayed in various art exhibitions and film shows in Kolkata, including at Max Muller Bhavan.

Indranil is hopeful of his 30-minute short Kono Ek Meye being selected for screening at the 2011 Chennai International Short Film Festival and other national and international shows. "It is a Bengali film, which is very much offbeat and the screenplay and making is also bit different from the regular mainstream procedure. Something very different story telling I like to introduce which will have a flavor of a real-life events and. It
will approach to every individual and they will feel the presence of this relationship through them. My idea is a perfect combination of perfect approach and techno savvy", says Indranil. "I could have kept the three story parallel, but bridged in-between in a chronological manner and it is the exact treatment what this film demands.  Still, the three has no link in-between, as three phases are mostly individual in style, treatment, time, drama and flavor. This may be considered as a story of a girl or three different stories of three individuals. The three story does not represent any given time or situation. It’s a direct approach and message in its own dramatic way. As the plot thickens through constant breaks of the hackneyed chronological way of storytelling, the jump cuts, fades and dissolves exercise the intellect of the audience who are kept on the edge of their seats as they care and compare.This is a movie of a new way of representation for visual and mental relief, yet sticking to the subject without making it much confusing, a process of going back and forth with proper tuning and rhythm."


Kono Ek Meye: Synopsis

[A still from Kono Ek Meye] [A still from Bengali Movie Kono Ek Meye]

“Human being has made a rapid progress through the history, from living in a cave to space walk, from Dark Ages to Renaissance, from illiteracy to computer age. However, through all these changes one fact has not changed at all and that is the cruelty to women. Women have been subjects of atrocity by superstitions, religions, traditions and male egos.
Women need to think highly about themselves, respect their nature and gender and shed the old images of women and make a new, respected entity of their own.”

Any solution?

[A still from Kolkata Bangla Movie Kono Ek Meye] [A still from Calcutta Bangla New Movie Kono Ek Meye]

A girl has born in a middle class family, An astrologer who is a family advisor and tantric, was called to bless her, and from as early as her six years of age, were mistreated and used as sexual beings by her one and only uncle, her mother’s only brother, whom she trusted the most. She dreams of something very scary and mother took her to the astrologer. Astrologer advised her and told her to be more careful.

[A still from New Bangla Movie Kono Ek Meye] [A still from Bangla Cinema Kono Ek Meye]

When she is in her teen, she loved a boy who after their strong relationship, proposed her for separation. She again felt lonely and helpless in this cruel world. She went to the astrologer and the astrologer again gave some advice and shown sympathy. She dreams about her sexual relationship with the boy but suddenly she sees her uncle with her on bed. She wakes up and the transition takes her to a middle aged girl who is already married now.

[Kolkata Bangla Cinema Kono Ek Meye] [Calcutta Bangla Cinema Kono Ek Meye]

She now works in a private company and faces several dirty looks inside office from her colleagues. When she returns home, four street boys sit just beside her house everyday and chat, passes nasty comments on her. One day her office boss directly offers her to spend more time with him after office or in weekdays, to give him company. She was shocked and at night when she tried to express her feelings to her husband, she is been raped by her husband, without her consent. She dreams that without those four boys sits beside her house, her uncle, boyfriend and the office boss is there. She wakes up.

[Calcutta Bangla Movie Kono Ek Meye] [Kolkata New Bangla Movie Kono Ek Meye]

Lastly she again went to the astrologer. Now the astrologer is shown and she questioned him why a woman in the society is always taken as a subject of sexual pleasure. Nobody ever cared about the pain and agony of a woman. Why all people behave like dogs to a woman. Finally the astrologer told her that she has a hidden power which creates this entire problem. He told her that in the next dark, she should come to her temple and they will meet. He also offered her doing sex with him, as a result, there will be a transformation of power from her to the astrologer, and the astrologer will be the most powerful saint in the world and she will get relief from every pain. Now she is totally down and depressed. While returning home, she saw those four boys were sitting and laughing in the same way. She feels very scary everyday to enter the lane but today she approached to them, and without them she saw as if her uncle, boyfriend, office boss and the astrologer is sitting. This was the protest against the society, her approach and felt this is the only way out.

Cast & Crew:

[New Indian Bengali Film Kono Ek Meye]Indian Independent Cinema: Kono Ek Meye

Sonali Chatterjee
Rituparna Biswas
Samrat Banerjee
Soumik Ranjan
Arun Chakraborty
Proloy Sengupta
Adrika Banerjee (child artist)

Cinematography – Siddhartha Dey
Editor – Ujjwal Mukherjee
Music Director – Tapan Sinha
Song – Nazrul song
Singer - Nupur
Production Manager – Sambhu Munshi
Chief Assistant Director – Sudip Nag
Story, Screenplay, Concept, Direction – Indranil Banerjee