Altaf Mazid’s 52-minute Karbi film ‘Sabin alun’ (The broken song) was screened to rave reviews in the The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at its 47th edition in Goa. The film, selected in the non-feature film category of Indian Panorama, is based on an oral singing tradition of the Karbi tribe.
Among many such traditions, the ancient story of Ram and Lakhon was quite popular till the pre-television days. Now, only a couple of aged renderers is alive. The peculiarity of the text is that it is based on animistic faith. For example ‘Sinta’ is born from a peacock’s egg. The purpose of the film is to engage the audience with the story that is known for generations but now portrayed in an utterly different socio-culture milieu. Folk tale motifs are sprinkled all over the body of the film.
Sabin, the younger sister of Ravon, wanted to marry Lakhon, the younger brother of Ram. She compares her with Sinta, wife of Ram that she too can cook rice, vegetable and wash clothes. Hearing this Lakhon goes so angry that he chops off the nose of Sabin. As an act of revenge, Ravon kidnaps Sinta. Ram and Lakhon could have apprehended Ravon but Sinta prevented them as the day was an ominous one, and she must visit Ravon’s house. Huliman, the uncle of Ram and Lakhon, tries to rescue Sinta several times without success yet he comes to know about the hidden chamber of Ravon’s soul. Finally Ram, Lakhon and Sinta get united after the death of Ravon but Sabin remains dejected without a nose on her face.
The IFFI is an annual festival being conducted by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Goa is the permanent venue of the festival. Rajiv Mehrotra of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) is the producer of the film. The film was screened on November 23 and 25 at INOX II auditorium.