Bishar Blues travels across the West Bengal countryside on the trail of
the Islamic fakir who walks the path of Marfat. In Islam the Shariat laws
organize the physical world, ethics…The Marfat is the hidden knowledge,
the goal is to free oneself from the physical, the ascetic way.
The fakirs all agree on Allah, Mohammed, the Prophet and the Koran. But
then they go on to freely interpret Allah, Mohammed and the Koran, also
the relationship between these three, creating a multi-textured mythology
of Islam without the official sanction of any centralized authority. Every
individual fakir gives his own twist to the tale. The variations are
endless yielding to the notion that Man himself is the ultimate mythology.
Knowing oneself is knowing god.
"Today as I look around at my global environment, I feel suffocated by
the images of Islam that bombard me – the 9/11 New York Twin Tower
bombings, the Afganisthan bombings, the Iraq bombings, the 7/7 London
bombings, the bombings in Mumbai, Osama Bin Laden, undemocratic rigid
theologians….. Where was the human individual who practiced simple faith?
I bumped into the Bengali fakir in his own land and he made me think.
In the fakirs I recognized the human individual as the supreme arbitrator
of his own destiny. The system bends and veers along. Separate individuals
create numerous variables and keep the system open ended. The fakirs keep
Islam open ended. I threw in my lot with them. I made my film."
About the director:
Amitabh Chakraborty has a Post Graduate Diploma in Film Editing from
\ In 1990 he produced and directed a feature film ‘KAAL ABHIRATI’ it was
awarded the Special Jury Award at the National Film Festival, New
\ In 1995 he directed a video documentary four part series on the folk art
forms of West Bengal .
\ In 1996 he directed the documentary ‘KITSCH-MITSCH’ on the painter Hiran Mitra
which was screened at MIFF.
\ In 2006 he directed and Produced ‘BISHAR BLUES’ a feature length
documentary on the Islamic Fakirs of Bengal, India.
\ 2007 Work in Progress – Directing and coproducing ‘COSMIC SEX –A DIALOGUE
WITH GANDHI’ a documentary feature for Steps India International.
poster- Shreyas R Krishnan(www.sayerhs.deviantart.com)