Sunday, April 10, 2011

Satyajit's Sikkim' releases in Gangtok

GANGTOK: After 40 long years, Satyajit Ray's documentary Sikkim' officially premiered at Vajra Cinema Theatre in Gangtok on Wednesday evening. The auditorium was packed with cinegoers who not only longed to watch a Ray film but were also curious to find out why the documentary had been banned. Canned 40 years ago, the film had got faded but it was restored by Joseph Lidner of Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science in California.

While the premiere brought back memories of good old days to the aged viewers, it was an insightful experience for young students, intellectuals, officials and journalists, who got a peek into the Sikkim of yore. Traditional dresses and school uniforms of yesteryears, picturesque surroundings of the capital, not obstructed by highrises, the film gave the elderly viewers reason to get nostalgic. Flashback to 1971, they recalled how the natives walked through cold, hilly regions to reach their agriculture fields or the weekly village haats. People then appeared completely oblivious to all signs of 20th century development happening across the world. The snow-clad mountains, rivers, birds, flowers and orchids exuded the rich wealth of the state against the backdrop of people living with poor facilities of housing and communication. The film also had the palace, its prince and princess in the frame but that in no way diluted Ray's idea of showcasing the inherent beauty of the tiny Himalayan state.

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