New Delhi, Aug 28 (PTI) National Award-winning filmmaker Utpal Borpujari’s documentary “Memories of a Forgotten War”, which chronicles the valour and sacrifice of thousands of soldiers and local people in the Northeast India in the second World War, will premiere on online platform Moviesaints on September 2. Made over a period of three years, the feature-length documentary was shot extensively by an international crew in remote battle locations in Manipur and Nagaland, as well as in locations in the UK and Japan in addition to Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and New Delhi.
The documentary features interviews of a number of veterans from the British Indian Army and the Japanese Army who fought each other in the treacherous terrain of Manipur and Nagaland at great human and emotional cost.
The release date of the documentary coincides with the day the War ended 75 years ago.
“Until the National War Museum of Britain declared a few years ago that the Battle of Kohima was the most important battle fought by the Allied Army during the World War II, ahead of even the Normandy landing and many other such much better-known battles, the battles of Manipur and Nagaland hardly attracted any attention,” Borpujari said in a statement.
The documentary has been produced by well-known cyber security expert Subimal Bhattacharjee under the banner of Jookto.
“Memories of a Forgotten War” was previously showcased as part of the Indian Panorama at the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in 2016 and had a special screening at the 15th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) in 2018.
The filmmaker, who had won the National Award for his debut Assamese-language feature “Ishu” in 2018, said the documentary was an attempt to bring to the fore these lost stories.
“We have tried to bring out some of the memories of those battles by retelling the tales of valour of the young soldiers and of the local peoples who participated in or witnessed those battles,” Borpujari said.
Bhattacharjee hailed Moviesaints for giving platform to movies made by artistes from the northeast region.
“Our film is an important part of the history of Northeastern India that needed to be looked at from humanistic point of view before it faded away. As someone hailing from the region, I feel strongly about bringing out positive narratives from Northeastern India that is often in the news for the wrong reasons, and this film is part of that endeavour,” he added.
MovieSaints Chief operating officer Anupama Bose said “Memories of a Forgotten War” will be part of the company’s “War & Dehumanisation” package, which also includes Supriyo Sen’s “Way Back Home”, “Hope Dies Last in War” and Martti Helde’s Estonian film “In the Crosswinds (Risttuules)”.
“We are proud to have curated this as a part of the series because nothing can be more tragic than being pitted against your own countrymen in war. And therein lies the realisation – that it is equally cannibalistic when nations fight nations, humans fight humans, governments & leaders fight those who have elected them to power,” she said. PTI RB RB BK