The more you take out from a creation, the greater it becomes. Whether or not it holds true for my experience while watching an inspiring documentary entitled Sangharsh – Against All Odds late last night, I certainly came out of it with a renewed hope for things around. Sangharsh reinforces the learning that there are many worlds in this world of ours. And that every world provides a perspective to the ‘rest of the worlds’. It is that lovely reminder, laced with a stirring message of hope, that makes the documentary worth a dekko.

Made by the students of SIMC (Pune), the documentary takes the viewers on a journey to a world that most of us would never be able to experience. A world where the native people were completely at home with nature and nakedness just till a decade or so ago. A world where a handful few have the weaponary to blow up a police patrol Jeep but most others find it difficult to even imagine what a train would look like! A world where it takes good samaritans close to six years to convince the native people that education is not such a bad thing after all, and then produce a qualified doctor from amongst the tribals! A world where some of the better people of ‘our world’ have decided to spend their lives; providing education, medication and building bridges between the tribals and us.

All credit must go to Mrunmaiy Abroal, Smita Diwan and Swati Subhedar for a thorough research on the subject. The detailing shows and adds much to the effort of their very young team. The director-duo of Mrunmaiy Abroal and Smita Diwan show great control over the narration. The duo, courtesy a very robust platform provided by Vimida M. Das’ script (in absence of any mention of screenplay in the credits, I would take script as screenplay too), make the thought flow effortlessly from the description of the geography of the tribal villages, to the amazing societal work by the Amte family and others, to the mushrooming of hope for the tribal children amidst the deadly naxal violence. Editing by Anand Kumar (a.f.e.) is seamless and facilitates natural progression of the thought. Providing him ample ammunition on the editing table is some lovely camerawork by Rajesh Das.

On the downside, I thought Chandrika Chakraborti’s narrative voice needed some more weight or texture. What also let her down at places was the script writer providing her with some very predictable lines over self-describing images. But the biggest failure of the documentary was its background score. Lacking the enterprise of the makers and the subject, the background score meanders from being mundane to outright uninspiring at places.


Author. Entrepreneur. Filmmaker. Journalist.

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