Children’s Month: Yenning Amadi Likla (Spring and Dew)

YAL‘Yenning Amadi Likla’ is probably the only feature film produced in the state of Manipur in 2007. Yet, it was selected for the Indian Panorama section at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in 2007. Even more remarkably, it is produced by six female producers who had come together to make it at a shoestring budget of Rs.18 lakhs.

Sanatomba is an imaginative, creative and a nature-loving ten-year old. He has simple wishes, like wanting to sleep beside his father, dine with him. But he cannot, because his father is a drunkard. He always comes home drunk, fights with his mother, and slaps Sanatomba for going to school. The father himself doesn’t work, but he wants his son to work in a hotel and bring home some money so that he could waste it on alcohol.

The house runs on the shoulders of his mother, but even she cannot put up with the antics of the father. One day, she leaves them. She hopes that her husband would come to his senses in her absence. Meanwhile, Sanatomba is distraught at his misfortune and compares it with that of Thambol, the daughter of a rich, well-to-do family next door. Thambol tells him that she could sleep beside both her mother and her father, and that they both love her very much.

Later in the movie, the problems associated with adoption are shown, when a childless couple come across Sanatomba and wish to adopt him. Not only is the acceptance of both the mother and the father sought, but more importantly, of that of the child, Sanatomba, who wants to see his mother.

It is a simple movie which shows how domestic violence can trouble a child, and shows it from the child’s point of view. I personally feel that because the movie has been produced by women, it does show its effect on the final product. For once, in a movie, women take up center stage, and men are put behind. This movie kind of shows how it would be if women take up filmmaking.

Considering the peculiar state of film production in Manipur, women coming forward to produce films is all the more remarkable. There is no state support for filmmaking, and there are no cinema halls that project on celluloid in Manipur. Many of them have turned into shopping malls and schools. So, to actually make a movie, in a place where there are no cinema halls, is quite daring and for women to come together and do that is totally something.

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