Sandhya Raag is a 1977 Assamese film by Bhabendra Nath Saikia, one of the prominent film makers of the Assamese Cinema. The film is based on the story ‘Banaprastha’ written in 1969. It is the first Assamese film to be showcased in the Indian Panorama.

Cast

  • Runu Devi
  • Chetana Das
  • Arati Baruah
  • Mridula Baruah
  • Ajit Baishya
  • Karuna Bannerjee
  • Hemen Barman
  • Jayansta Das
  • Ishaan Baruah
  • Raju Bordoloi

Story

Sandhya Raag is the story of Putali, a widow living in the village, and her two daughters. The daughters are sent to the city to work as domestic help in two different household, and live under different circumstances. While the elder, Charu, is accepted as a part of the family she works for and gets accustomed to the life in the city; the younger, Taru, is not so lucky and has to keep warding off the advances of the lecherous son of her master. When the sisters are of marriageable age, they have to return to the village. However after all the years spent in an urban setup, they find it difficult to adjust to the restricted life of the village. Seeking a way out, Charu agrees to marry her former employer’s driver even though he is impotent. After her marriage, Putali and Taru join her in the city.

Commentary

In his debut film, Saikia impresses with his sense of human nature and with a remarkable dexterity, handles the complex cultural differences between the village and the city and the resultant tension it creates in the lives of the characters. The treatment is minimalist and leans towards neo-realism. The first Assamese film produced by NFDC, Sandhya Raag is a great insight in the life of rural Assam in 1970s.

Awards and Recognition

  • National Award (Rajat Kamal) for best regional film  (1978)
  • Indian Panorama at International Film Festival (1978)
  • Karlov Film Festival, Czechoslovakia (1978)
  • Valladolid Film Festival, Spain (1978)

Reference