Mehdi Jahan


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Original Title : Teuluke aamar geet bur xune janu ?
Year : 2022
Language : Assamese
Duration : 15 minutes 35 seconds
Shooting Format : Digital
Aspect Ratio :  4:3
Genre : Drama
Film Colour : Black and White, Colour

Crew :

Writer, Director, Editor : Mehdi Jahan
Producer : Reframe Institute of Art and Expression
Cinematographer : Sunayana Singh
Sound Design and Mix : Rahul Rabha
Assistant Director : Adhiraj Kashyap
Location Sound : Eemon Koch
Cast : Mala Goswami, Jyotishree RU Baishya, Adhiraj Kashyap, Sariful Haque

Synopsis :

The recurrent nightmares of two Assamese Muslim women interact, overlap, and confront each other, revealing intimate narratives from the lives of Assamese women belonging to marginalized communities over the years in the face of domestic, social, and political oppression. Jebin dreams of a boatwoman who's taken an oath to trudge along her native landscapes, carrying her boat on her back. Fatema recounts a nightmare where she's abducted by a couple of army men, forcing her to reveal the whereabouts of her rebel husband.

Screenings :
1. Kandhamal Film Festival on Justice, Peace and Harmony, 2022 ( Online Screening, curated by noted documentary filmmaker and activist Amudhan RP )

2.  TENT ( Theatre for Experiments in New Technologies ) Biennale 2022 - International Festival for Experimental Films and New Media Art ( Kolkata ) 

3. 16th Signs Film Festival 2023 (Kerala) 
Award : Jury’s Special Mention - Cinema Experimenta

4. 6th South Asian Short Film Festival 2023, Kolkata

5.  Personal Cinema : Mehdi Jahan (A Collection of Films by Mehdi Jahan),  Millennium Film Workshop, New York (Curated by Alex Faoro)

Director Statement :

In 2015, I’d undertaken research on the history of Assamese cinema and stumbled upon a glaring omission: the absence of films with Muslim characters with strong agency. I’ve grown in the company of my mother and paternal grandmother who’ve bequeathed me with a deep intellectual and spiritual tradition of Sufism, the knowledge and practice of which is slowly disappearing from the cultural map of Assam. It has always been crucial for me to explore the experiences of Assamese women, especially from marginalized communities such as mine, highlighting the deeply intricate relationship between their personal stories and the socio-political history of a place and community. This film intends to explore this concern, attempting a cinematic language where dreams and memories are as real as physical reality, true to the essence of Sufism. I strongly believe the dreams and memories of individuals and their personal stories are windows which make visible the political narratives of a place. My travels across Assam, interacting with people from various communities, and listening to the stories of my own family members have helped me immensely in this regard and I wish to explore these narratives further through the medium of Cinema. Furthermore, the film is also an attempt to delve into the slowly vanishing local traditions of a marginalized community, in the face of political ideologies that have perennially discriminated against people on the basis of their gender, religion, ethnicity, class, and caste.