Yeh hamaari badkismati hai ki hamare ghar mila sone ka khazana...’’ sums up the angst of hundreds of thousands of people displaced due to the impact of industrialisation in eastern states like Odisha, Bihar, Chhatishgarh and Jharkhand. This existential anguish finds a representation on the celluloid through a two-hour Hindi film Adibhumi (originally a Sanskrit word which means ancestral land, though the film’s subtitle says homeland) that has found a pride of place to be screened at 39th Montreal World Film Festival beginning August 27 under the ‘focus on world cinema’ category. Slotted for an October release in India, the film scans the effects of displacement in places which abound in natural mineral resources in the country.
“Unfortunately these are the poorest states. The paradox is though industrialisation was meant to make people of these areas rich, it has actually made them poorer. The film revolves around the hypocritical latches within the policy framework deliberately done to facilitate a few. The biggest disappointment is the unfair distribution of resources resulting in imbalanced socio-economic growth forcing people to migrate to other parts of the country,’’ says director Satyabrata Dwibedy.
Playing the lead are actors Manoj Mishra, Sushree Sangeeta Mohapatra, child artiste Minisha Lumba, Anil Dhir, Debu Brahma, Prakash Debta and Markanda Satpathy. The film will be the only Indian entry at the festival, that too after an interval of four years. Tagging it as content-based cinema, Dwibedy says the distinction between parallel cinema and mainstream does not exist anymore. “Like Piku, that won the hearts of the audience because it was based on day-to-day issues, people want to see portrayal of issues they deal with day in and day out. Adibhumi is all about people who have been suffering since long though they are the ones who own the land,” says Dwibedy, a law graduate who veered into producing and directing current affairs and news-based television shows for Doordarshan. A nationally empanelled producer for DD, Adibhumi marks Dwibedy’s first brush with filmmaking.
The film’s story begins with a company called OSCO that signs an MoU with the state government for setting up an industry. The usual process begins with evictions, gramsabhas and rehabilitation measures. Thousands get affected and while some stay back, many leave their lands in search of greener pastures. The film, after a certain time, focuses on the struggle of one family that has been displaced and their fight to survive.
“Every year 9-11 lakh people go out of the state to work as bonded labourers. This disturbed me and propelled me to make a film. Intended at the masses, I have never wanted the film to make big noise neither do I aim to change the mindset of the people in power corridors. It is just an effort of a person who is concerned about issues affecting people in a big way,’’ says Dwibedy, when asked if the film intends to prove a change agent. The film has been shot in 120 days in Odisha, some parts of Jharkhand and Delhi. The team members, including the cast, are all from Odisha except for the child artiste who is from Delhi. Dubbing though has been done in Mumbai because of the accent problem of the cast. Dwibedy has also been the script and dialogue writer for the movie which has been made with Rs 2.5 crore. “I am sure the film will fetch good revenue once released in theatres,” he says.
All set to start his second movie on live-in relationship, Dwibedy has the script ready and plans to have a Bollywood cast.