The stories and events of 1962 has echoed across generations. The ensuing consequences of the War were unbelievably nightmarish for the people of Tezpur, who had to evacuate the town, when the Chinese troops were within striking distance of the oil fields of Assam, following the fall of Bomdila.
The subject still whips up lingering memories for many of those surviving residents of Tezpur, who went through immense pain and suffering during that bleak, oppressive atmosphere.
There have been a spate of Bollywood movies based on the Indo-Pak wars, but very few films have sincerely dealt with the India-China war of 1962. One film that immediately comes to mind is the timeless ‘Haqeeqat’, released in 1964. It is, therefore, high time that a movie dealing with the anguish and suffering endured by the citizens of Tezpur be told faithfully, evoking the period and providing a backdrop for the interplay of human emotions.
The Sino-Indian War and the long series of events that unfolded has long been a vehicle of inspiration for writers and readers.
It has also unleashed a passion in the National Award-winning filmmaker Hiren Bora, a Tezpur native, who has weaved together a compelling story set in the backdrop of the 1962 war in his ambitious new movie - ‘Seema – the untold story’, which is all set to release on March 29.
The story focuses on the spirit and determination of a blind child hailing from a poor family of Tezpur and the role of a British journalist. There is also an intriguing love story that unfolds during the oppressive period. The film also depicts the release of the jail convicts and the inmates of the mental asylum and the humanitarian work of the Mission Hospital. There was a tremendous upsurge of patriotic fervour among the people, in particular, the youths of Tezpur, who were caught in a quagmire of dismay, fear and anxiety. The story ends with the unilateral ceasefire announced by China, and the retreat of the Chinese forces followed by the return of the evacuees and the happy union of the lovers. But despite the passage of so many years, the boundary disputes remain unresolved.
Besides looking up the archives, Hiren Bora recorded a number of incidents and anecdotes in his diary, while interacting with the survivors and war veterans. The film promises to appeal to the senses and emotions of the audiences and might even rouse them to patriotic fervour.
Produced by Sanjive Narain, under the banner of AM Television Productions, the film’s executive producer is Dadumoni Borah. The script, based on a story by the director himself, is written by Hiren Bora in association with Ranjit Sarma, Sapun Duwarah and Mumbai’s Hari Haran, The film stars George Baker, who portrays the leading role of the British journalist, William Smith. The various other roles are enacted by Nipon Goswami, Arun Nath, Krishna Das Nath, Dr Jahanara Begum, Rita Bora, Rodali Bora, Dr Shyamal Saikia, Ankita Saikia, Ujjal Saikia, Deepa Chetri, Dristi Naina Das, Nilim Dutta, Monuj Borkotoky, Arunachali actress Pema Lhamu, Hrithik Padmawati, Arabinda Baruah, etc. While the film is cinematographed by Vivek Banerjee, musically scored by Tarali Sarma, edited by Dipak Mandal, the publicity designers are Arun Lochan Das and Debajit Bhuyan and the gfx is designed by Zonak Yugantar Bora.
Earlier, the film came in for a lot of appreciation after a special show was held in a makeshift mobile multiplex cinema hall at the Assam Engineering Institute playground in Chandmari, Guwahati.