In a remote village on the India-Myanmar border, 70years after Indian independence, news floats in that electricity may arrive. Life flickers between hope and frustration.
Far from the mainland and mainstream consciousness, in a region ridden with uncertainties, Tora is quaint and beautiful, but with bad roads, erratic transport service, a dysfunctional school, no hospital, no power supply, no mobile network and no job opportunities, the only source of income being illegal marijuana cultivation. In a place where promises are seldom kept, can people actually believe that anything will change and electricity will indeed come? In this unpredictable world, humour is the only constant. Over a period of two years spanning the electrification process and beyond, the film will flow with the lives of the three principal characters: JASMINE is a feisty entrepreneur trying to make a place for herself in a deeply patriarchal society. She wants to give her children a good education and so, sends them to an expensive boarding school in the next district. ASHANG is the young, dynamic, city-bred Village Chief who left his law practice in Delhi and returned home two years back to follow his destiny and his hereditary duty as chief. KHAMRANG, the 96-year-old grandpa, is the oldest person in Tora and a former insurgent. He lives on his own, cooks his own food, and occupies himself by doing carpentry, and listening to the radio every evening. He does not believe that electricity will arrive in his village. He has seen it all before.
Through these three different perspectives, we understand the ethos of the community, their preoccupations, and priorities. The film will alternate between the lives of the people and the electricity work, two threads that move together, at times intersecting; the aspirations of the people chafed by the apathy and absurdity of the state machinery. Will electricity actually arrive in Tora? And if it does, will it stay to transform the lives of the people. The film waits to see.
Anupama SRINIVASAN is a freelance filmmaker based in Delhi, India. She studied Film Direction at FTII, Pune, and has been making documentaries for the past 16 years on themes like gender, music and education, often shooting and editing her own work. The documentary Nirnay that she co-directed and edited won the Most Innovative Film Award at MIFF 2014. She has been visiting faculty at institutions such as NID Ahmedabad, Ashoka University and SACAC, New Delhi. She was the Festival Director of the IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival for three years (2013-15). Filmography: Nirnay (2012), I Wonder… (2009), On my Own Again(2007), On my Own(2002)
Anirban DUTTA is a filmmaker, still photographer and a media educator based in Delhi. He started his career in television in 1996, and set up the film company, Metamorphosis in 2003. He has directed and produced several documentary films and created photographic essays on diverse topics. His films have travelled to New York Short FF, the San Sebastian Human Rights FF, Al Jazeera IFF, and MIFF. He has been a Visiting Artist at the University of Boise, Utah, USA (2009), Stanica Slovakia (2013) and exhibited in University of Lima, Peru (2007). Filmography: Tales of Stamps (2016), 5 Exchange Lane (2015), Beyond the Mountains, The Mud House, Shadows of Tehri (2003)
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