Set among the breathtaking landscapes of Western Assam, Bobby Sarma Baruah’s second feature foregoes the traditional structure of the all-too-common biopic to deliver an enchanting, positively gorgeous portrayal of the life of Pratima Baruah Pandey. Born to royalty in 1935, Pandey found her passion in the folk songs performed by the working people of her region, rather than in the life of marriage and domesticity expected of a woman of her circumstance. She forsook tradition by dedicating her life to learning these songs – usually sung by boatmen and buffalo herders – and sharing them with the world.
Although Pandey performed all over the world and appeared in films by celebrated directors, Baruah’s film remains firmly planted in Pandey’s home territory. Through mesmerizing visuals and captivating music, she pens a love letter to the Assamese people and their land. The way Baruah skillfully weaves music into her narrative recalls the brilliant work of British director Terrence Davies, where songs are used to express the deep emotional bonds of a community. Original recordings of Pandey’s vocals are used throughout the film, bringing new life and a much-deserved spotlight to a woman and a cultural tradition both in danger of being forgotten.
Q&A to follow with director and producer Bobby Sarma Baruah and Basanta Kumar Baruah
- Bobby Sarma Baruah
Bobby Sarma Baruah is an Indian filmmaker, producer and screenwriter. Her debut feature film ADOMYA was awarded best film in the spiritual category at the 13th Dhaka International Film Festival. THE GOLDEN WING is her second feature. Currently she is pursuing her doctoral research for a PhD on influence of folk culture of Assam in Assamese cinema.