Thursday, 3 January 2008


Amitabh Chakraborty

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."

-Amitabh Chakraborty

About the director:

Amitabh Chakraborty has a Post Graduate Diploma in Film Editing from
FTII, Pune.

\ 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(


sayerhs said...



Thanks NID Film club and very interesting to get director too present!

Certain things which I wanted to say, but abrubtly and nicely stopped then after movie:) Sorry for taking some of your time..and still taking now

This is for the Director.

Point 1: There is scene in which a person tells how muslims create boundary and hindus create boundaries and what's use of idols? etc? one has to see God in

Point 2: Someone said that the rituals and practices they carry on are imp.

For this two points just one clarity I wanted to add...being appreciative of what we saw in movie does not denounce the fact that others in existence are not better.
Written words (scriptures) since are written word hold more accountability and if one practices them...still it can be carried forward to generations... (Yup the person only talked about movie..but I just added here the point for clarity)

For point No. 1, director has to maintain distance and thus not take that scene.
Why? Because then many people can distance from the message of the movie. One can't afford to see negative in others while appreciative self principles. That's grave mistake.

He may say, he wanted to show as the way they are. Agreed. But still don't open all your cards. He said that he should have a relationship with his camera. But isn't it important to know the choices, what to shoot and what not to? Appreciation takes courage and considerable resolve.

Simple analogy to explain as message of film also was simplicity:

If one wants to read a book, there is some appreciative distance which is maintained. If book is closer to eyes or farther then one can't read. Here too even though director wants to take all scenes, still he has to be not carried away by
his predicament of emotions and dec

isions. The movie is trying to define new singularity in certain context amidst
struggle to find meaning of religion and life in their confused growing landscape.

So appreciation has to be maintained for message to percolate. Director saw subject
too close and many times at distance too. A correct choice of distance is imp.
Which is what Prachi Mokashi also asked. It can be obstructive many times. As
director its difficult to maintain this appreciative distance.

When he gets chance he can show more things too later...:-)
"For days to come prepare ever alike,
When you are anvil bear,
When you are hammer strike."

APJ Abdul Kalam

One may say Islam existed for years and other religions existed too..still why so
many terrorist from a certain group? Why society is still not cured? Soap also
existed since ages. right? But why we all are not clean? One has to use soap. So
definitely movie provides new insights but when doing so it has to maintain a very
positive language (surely it has maintained but can be improved).

Chalo...I too will not write more for this movie....thoughts pouring in like water over Niagara...but I will keep the book at 25 cm distance:-) or it will be
inexplicable and bizarre too perhaps;)

Warm Regards,
Manish Desai
First Year, Toy & Game Design.

Monojit said...

I liked the film, and it changed a bit of i was really concerned about me and myself and the rest of the world.

i always knew there is a question and an envelope of mist in every mind which is ignored delebarately...

The qustion is not "who you are? or what u are?" but "what have you done?" and "what are you going to do?"

I know this is getting too much intelectual of a kind but some where to be honest i always missed some thing in life which is the result of ignorance...

i know m too small to talk like this but the qustion always arises "if a human cannot worship humanity, who will?"

i congratulate Mr Amitabh Chakroborty for his achievement and wishing to see more in this direction...

With regards,
Monojit Bhowmick
3rd year GDPD,
Film and Video,

Anonymous said...

if a human cannot worship humanity, who will?"

love this in above comment...