"Bhuban Bhora Sur" (Melodies of the Soul), a 56-minute documentary on the interpretation and rendering of Tagore songs by 'shoukhin shilpi' Professor Mohammad Anisur Rahman has been selected for screening at the Kolkata Film Festival. The news seems like a good omen. I always felt that it deserved wider viewing, and I am happy that it is finally going to reach a bigger audience.
From what I have seen of the film, I am convinced that the Kolkata audience will find it a worthwhile diversion from the usual staple of short films. It's a documentary film no doubt, but the story, interspersed with songs and wondrous visuals, is sure to keep them glued to their seats till the end. If pure and simple entertainment is their expectation, they will go home fully entertained, with Professor Rahman's self-effacing voice still resonating in their minds.
"Bhuban Bhora Sur" does not meddle with the esoteric or the academic. It is a down to earth depiction of a singer and his passion for songs that he loves to sing, mostly to himself, in solitude. It is indeed a rarity that he sang for a short film. Shabnam Ferdousi, the director of the film, makes it very clear from the outset that it is a simple tale, narrated through the lens of her camera. So there is no pretension, no metaphor, no allegory. She never allowed her camera to go astray or pry into areas that she did not want it to. In each shot, she knew where to begin and exactly where to use her scissors. The result is the smooth flow of the tale from one interesting chapter to another, like the rolling waves that came one after another.
Professor Rahman makes the audience watch in amazement his composure before the camera and his sharing of some personal moments from his illustrious life. I am sure his full-time cooperation was the first thing that had worried Shabnam, and she must have felt immensely relieved when the last scene was shot. And perhaps Meghna Guhatha-kurta and Shipra Bose, the two producers, felt the same way throughout the making of the film. Congratulations to all of them on the film's screening in Kolkata.
The writer is Senior Assistant Editor, The Daily Star