Social unrest inspires Ghose to make film on Lalon Fakir

March 29th, 2010 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, March 29 (IANS) Renowned Indian filmmaker Gautam Ghose is here to finish work on his film “Moner Manush”, based on the life of 19th century Sufi poet and Baul music exponent Lalon Fakir.
Ghose says current social and political unrest inspired him to tell the story of Lalon Fakir, who spearheaded a social movement in the 19th century to unite Hindus and Muslims.

Legend has it that Rabindranath Tagore never met Lalon when the latter organised peasants against him, but his elder brother Jyotirindranath did. But Rabindranath Tagore in his 1933 London Hebart Lecture applauded him as a mystic poet who discovered “soul” and the meaning of “man”.

Based on Sunil Gangopadhyay’s novel, “Moner Manush” has Prosenjit Chatterjee in the lead role. This is Ghose’s first Indo-Bangladesh co-production after the much-acclaimed 1993 movie “Padma Nadir Majhi”.

Ghose told New Age that Habib Rehman Khan, the Bangladeshi co-producer of both the films, had been asking him to make another film, but he has been too busy.

“Besides, I was looking for a script which would deal with a unique theme focusing on subjects that are of common interest to all the Bengalis of Bangladesh and India,” he said in an interview published Monday.

“Rabindranath Tagore, Mir Mosharraf Hossain and Kharinath Majumdar, in their times, were inspired by Lalon. As for me, it was the contemporary social and political unrest that led me to pick up Lalon as the central character, whose life and thoughts are still relevant for us,” Ghose said.

“At present, we are living in a society where cultural, political and religious tolerance is disappearing day by day. Against this backdrop, I have tried to highlight the secular thoughts of a self-educated person who formed an integral part of a movement that invited all people to come together on humanistic grounds. I believe that we have lots of things to learn from this visionary,” he added.

The story, as unravelled on celluloid by Ghose, revolves around different phases of Lalon’s life.

“By focusing on his life, I have attempted to capture the social milieu in which Lalon waged a war against religious intolerance. But I have also shown the historical meeting between Lalon and Jyotirindranath Tagore, in which the latter, one of the pioneering figures of Bengali renaissance in the late 19th century, pays tribute to the former, the self-educated visionary who had foreseen things that we are yet to realise,” said Ghose.

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