Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare
|Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bidyut Kotoky|
|Produced by||National Film Development Corporation of India|
|Written by||Bidyut Kotoky|
|Music by||Zubeen Garg|
|Edited by||Rajesh Parmar|
Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare (Assamese: এখন নেদেখা নদীৰ সিপাৰে, English: On the other bank of the unseen river) is a 2012 Assamese language socio-political thriller film, with some dialogue in Hindi, starring Sanjay Suri and Bidita Bag in the lead roles. The film was directed by Bidyut Kotoky and produced by National Film Development Corporation of India. The film was simultaneously made in Hindi and was named As the river flows.
The film was inspired by the kidnapping of activist Sanjoy Ghosh, who was first abducted in 1997 from the island Majuli in Assam supposed to be by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and subsequently killed. A controversy regarding the film also developed when it got rejected by the jury of the 59th National Film Awards in the category of best Assamese film for being “not Assamese”.
Sridhar Ranjan, a social activist, has gone missing from Majuli, Assam. After almost 7 years, when as per law he is about to be officially declared dead, his old journalist friend Abhijit Shandilya (Sanjay Suri) goes in search of Sridhar from Mumbai to Majuli. In Majuli, Abhijit finds himself to be a stranger of sorts in a place that’s infested with terrorists and where both the police and the terrorists seem to be suspicious of him. He befriends with his local guide Sudakshina ( Bidita Bag). Sudakshina apparently also was the guide for Sridhar when he came to Majuli initially. She however seems to be living with her own fears and stops short of getting close to Abhijit whenever an occasion comes up. The rest of the story revoles around Abhijit trying solve the mystery behind the disappearance of Sridhar.
- Sanjay Suri as Abhijit Shandilya, an old friend of Sridhar Ranjan
- Bidita Bag as Sudakshina, a local guide in Majuli
- Victor Banerjee as grandfather of Sudakshina
- Nakul Vaid as Jyotiraj, brother of Sudakshina
- Raj Zutshi as Jayanta Doley, an ex-militant
- Naved Aslam as Sub-Divisional Police Officer Sameer Agarwal
- Preeti Jhangiani
- Hadorsa Daimari as " Anything "
Bidyut Kotoky, the director of Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare, said that the film has nothing to do with the disappearance of Sanjay Ghose and it is not based on his life. According to him, “if a person like Sanjay Ghose existed, then somebody like Sridhar Ranjan – the protagonist of my film – could also have existed in Majuli. True, the film is inspired by the unfortunate disappearance of Sanjay Ghose – but inspiration ends there. The entire story is totally fictitious...”
The film also features a poem recitation by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. It was recorded on February 10, 2010 and featured on the starting of the film. In Bidyut Kotoky's words, “The poem represents the voice of the river Brahmaputra through the voice of the music maestro. Late Hazarika is known for his passion for the mighty river and is called the 'Bard of Brahmaputra'. So, when I needed someone to represent the voice of the river in my film, I immediately decided to approach Dr. Hazarika. ... He was ailing and not well when I approached him for recording the recitation for the film. However, he agreed to lend his voice and we finally recorded the recitation in February 2010.”
The film was released on September 14, 2012 in 9 theatres across Assam. The first public screening of the film was held on July 29, 2012 at 12th Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival held in New Delhi. It was also screened by the cultural affairs department of the Maharashtra government on September 8, 2012 in Mumbai to mark Bhupen Hazarika’s birth anniversary.
The film received generally positive reviews. Utpal Borpujari praising the film said that Bidyut Kotoky made a “promising debut.” Film writer Arunlochan Das rated Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare to be a “good film based on reality.”  Seven Sisters Post praised the acting of Raj Zutshi and said that the film is “an honest attempt to tell the truth.” Madaboutmoviez.com complimented the film to be “victory of Bidyut Kotoky.”
Awards and accolades
Bidyut Kotoky won Best Screenplay award for this film in the Assam State Film Awards for the period 2010-2012, which was presented on March 10, 2013 at Machkhowa, Guwahati. Jeevan Initiative, a voluntary trust from Assam, included the film in its list of 'Special 10 of the year 2012 for Assam' and cited, "this cinema aesthetically unveils an almost forgotten story of our recent political history."
Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare was selected for screening in the second edition of the Washington DC South Asian Film Festival held from May 10, 2013. The film was awarded for the Best Script and Best Actor at the same festival.
Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare was sent to compete in the category of best Assamese film in 59th National Film Awards. But 11-member jury, led by Rohini Hattangadi, rejected the film for “lack of cultural purity”. An Assamese filmmaker Hiren Bora, one of the jury members, said that, “The jury was of the view that a major chunk of the film was shot in Mumbai and most of the dialogues were in Hindi.” This led to a controversy since the official censorship authority in India had already certified the film as Assamese. A public-interest litigation was filed by enajori.com, a socio-cultural organisation which promotes cultural heritage of Assam, against the jury's decision. In response to the plea the Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Directorate of Film Festivals, the Central Board of Film Certification, Rohini Hattangadi—chairperson of Feature Film section, and Hiren Bora.
After examining the documents submitted for the selection of regional films, the High Court dismissed the plea. The proceedings revealed that Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare, and other films from the eastern region, were previewed and rejected by the jury. The court imposed costs of ₹2,000 (US$30) on the petitioner for moving to the court without ascertaining the facts of the case.
- "NFDC releases Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xipare". The Assam Tribune (Guwahati). September 12, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- Sethumadhavan (September 26, 2012). "Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare (as the River flows) Movie Review: A film with many questions". madaboutmoviez.com. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- "Bidyut Kotoky’s "Akhon Nedekha Nodir Sipare" releases on Friday". Dear Cinema. September 14, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- Jena, Alipta (March 18, 2012). "What does it take to be Assamese? - Film’s rejection sparks strong reactions". The Telegraph. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- "The National Film Awards and the controversy around ‘Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare’". madaboutmoviez.com. April 9, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- Kotoky, Bidyut (August 25, 2010). "Notes from Bidyut". Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- Das, Gaurav (September 12, 2012). "Film on futility of violence to hit screens soon". The Times of India (Guwahati). TNN. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- "Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika to come alive on-screen". ndtv.com (Guwahati). Indo-Asian News Service. September 13, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- Gani, Abdul (September 14, 2012). "Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xipare a hit with Assamese audience". Seven Sisters Post (Guwahati). Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- "12th Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival - Schedule". Osian's Cinematic Pvt. Ltd. 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- Borpujari, Utpal (December 30, 2012). "North-East cinemas: Interesting times (Deep Focus Cinema magazine)". Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- "Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xipare: An honest attempt to tell the truth". Seven Sisters Post. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- "Jeevan's SPECIAL 10 OF THE YEAR for ASSAM". Jeevan Initiative. 2013-03-30. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- Das, Gaurav (March 29, 2013). "Assam film sets date with Washington fest". The Times of India (Guwahati). TNN. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- "Assamese film bags awards at US fest". The Times of India. May 2013.
- Jena, Alipta (April 10, 2012). "Support for film termed ‘non-Assamese’". The Telegraph (Kolkata). Jena, Alipta. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- Jena, Alipta (April 19, 2012). "PIL disputes jury tag on Assamese film". The Telegraph (Kolkata). Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- "Court notice to government over Assamese film". New Delhi. Indo-Asian News Service. April 18, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Press Trust of India (April 19, 2012). "Explain reasons for rejecting Assamese film at National Awards: High Court". New Delhi. NDTV. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Press Trust of India (April 25, 2012). "Court rejects plea for quashing the jury's decision in National Awards". New Delhi. NDTV. Retrieved June 11, 2012.