Budding filmmaker Shenpenn Khymsar says that the youth of Darjeeling is either politically radicalized or struggling to find their voice. He adds that in order to keep its cultural diversity intact, Darjeeling deserves separate statehood.
Shenpenn Khymsar is from Darjeeling and his new film “Broken Wings” is about his land. It talks of politics, Gorkhaland and other issues, beyond depicting the beauty of the place.
“I have no problem of showing Darjeeling in postcards — toy train, mountain, tea garden etc. But the fact is, since independence, Darjeeling did not see the economic growth that many other states have. I have lost many of my friends who became alcoholic, went into depression or committed suicide because there are not many job opportunities. Not everyone can afford to leave their home in search of a better life. I think as a filmmaker it is my responsibility to tap into those unexplored talents and start a conversation on why there is not much representation of the youth of Darjeeling in the national platform,” Shenpenn Khymsar told IANS.
The story of the film revolves around two youngsters, a Marwari girl who falls in love with a Nepali musician from Darjeeling.
About the motive of his film, he added: “There is an existing cultural conflict and I am trying to address that. It is true that Bengali culture is beautiful. I love their food, literature, culture, cinema and I am inspired by that. But there is a different cultural signature we have in Darjeeling. Darjeeling cannot be part of Bengal because our culture is different.”
“A native of Darjeeling is different but the cultural nuance is getting tampered. There is a different kind of oppression that never gets addressed. I am trying to reflect this thought in the story,” he said.
The cast of the film is a mix of actors from the mountain and veterans and includes Endo, Sunakshi Grover, Vinay Pathak, Shubhdeep Raha, Neetu Panday, Reuben Pradhan, Nima Sherpa, Mingma Lhamo Tamang, and Bhavya Sharma.
Music plays an important part in his film. “One of the reasons why it was tough for me to make it is because the music of the film was supposed to be done by Sonam Sherpa, my close friend from Kalimpong, and renowned guitarist from the pioneer band Parikrama. But before we start work on the music, Sonam passed away. I cannot explain how emotionally shocked I was. I wrote songs and he was supposed to compose them, we went for recording, too. But he left us!” Shenpenn Khymsar said.
The film is being readied for an OTT release. –IANS/aru/vnc