A book titled "Film Appreciation on Cinemas (1980 to 1990) of Jahnu Barua: Social, Economic, Political, and Cultural Perspectives" was released at the 37th Day Session of the Global Communication Education Conclave (GCEC), held under the aegis of the Global Media Education Conclave (GMEC) recently.
The book is authored by Dr Juhi P Pathak, an academician from Assam.
"The expected outcome of this book is to document and preserve Assamese culture, but also help to understand the various facets of Assamese society in detail. The book has brought out the macro-environmental factors like the representation of social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of Assamese society," Pathak said.
"The objective of this book is to generate content on social and economic disparity and discrimination that will become a guiding tool for policymakers to set the roadmap for change," she added.
"This book explores Jahnu Baruah and his message through an in-depth analysis of his films from 1982 to 2014," she further said
The research study considers a span of 32 years. This research project considers 12 Assamese feature films by Jahnu Barua and excludes the Hindi language feature films and other short films. The entire research was conducted under a project of the Altruist Centre for Research, Training, and Development (ACRTD), a wing of the Capt. Ayush Purusartha Foundation (CAPF). The Research Project made way for mammoth amounts of data that have been divided into three books. This book is the first in the trilogy.
"While films are a reflection of society, this attempt to document the message in Jahnu Barua’s films, which are largely focused on issues of human interest, will act as a ready reckoner for anybody who would aspire to delve into the intricacies of Assamese society, its people, and culture. The research will bring into focus the social, economic, political, cultural, and psychological dimensions and crucial issues related to it," Pathak added.
"It will help society at large understand the problems systematically. It will also preserve the Assamese culture for future generations. The research will be a curation of the work of the man and his message. The book will target all students of media/journalism, film studies, film critics, film enthusiasts, policymakers, or anyone who just wants to understand some facets of Assamese cinema, " Pathak, who teaches mass communication at Sharda University, further said.
While introducing the book, Jahnu Barua says, "It always makes a filmmaker happy when people discuss and/or write about film appreciation. I appreciate Dr Juhi P. Pathak's work in bringing out a comprehensive analysis of my films. This book will also be a handbook for film students to understand how to appreciate films from multiple dimensions, not only from the perspective of cinema but also the rubrics of politics, economics, culture, and society apart from those that Dr Juhi has tried to highlight through her exhaustive work... This book will go a long way towards celebrating the rich customs and diverse culture of Assam."
From his coworkers to his admirers, the book and its author have received goodwill messages from various sections of people.
In her message, five-time national award-winning filmmaker Arunaraje Patil writes, "Everybody talks of Jahnu’s work—his cinema and the accolades he has received over the years. This book is about that!"
"I would like to congratulate Dr Juhi P Pathak for bringing out this book on the works of master filmmaker Jahnu Barua ji… This book by Dr Juhi P. Pathak on Jahnu Barua ji is a timely and wonderful piece of work on a living legend, "writes DJ Narain, DG, Press Information Bureau, I&B Ministry.
In his message, Dr Samujjal Bhattacharjya, Chief Advisor of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU), says, "I want to congratulate Dr Juhi P Pathak for bringing out this wonderful series of books that deep dive into Jahnu Barua’s films. I convey my best wishes to Dr Juhi... and hope that her sincere work becomes a huge success."
Barua's long-time colleague and veteran Assamese actor Bishnu Kharghoria, in his message to the author, says, "I believe that doing what you are passionate about, highlighting an important aspect of our state of Assam, is itself an act of patriotism. Dr Pathak’s work indeed reflects her immense love for her state... I congratulate her for her endeavour, which will surely go a long way in preserving and documenting the works of Jahnu Barua"
It may be mentioned here that for his prolific performances in Barua's Hkhagoroloi Bohu Door (1995) and Bandhon (2012), the veteran actor had won two National Film Awards as well.
In a message to the author, Moloya Goswami, who has worked with Barua in numerous films, said, "I congratulate Dr Juhi P Pathak for her untiring effort in the documentation of the work of the maestro Jahnu Barua. The book series titled "Film Appreciation on the Cinemas of Jahnu Barua" in three volumes will be a masterpiece and will contribute to a great extent to film literature as well as carry a valuable message to the younger generation."
For her strong performance in Barua's Firingoti (1992), Goswami won the National Film Award for Best Actress.
"I wish Dr Juhi P Pathak all the best in bringing out this series on the works of Jahnu Barua. I am sure it will help all cinema enthusiasts and students, "said veteran actress Mridula Baruah. She has worked with the ace filmmaker in the film Bonami.
"Papori and Aparoopa- the two Assamese films with the veteran filmmaker Jahnu Batua in the 1980s were learning lessons for me as an actor, and also sowed the seeds of my becoming a filmmaker. The book series is a very vital and significant documentation of filmmaker Jahnu Baruah," said veteran actor and director Gopi Desai.
In a message, popular Assamese actor Kopil Bora said, "I take this opportunity to compliment Dr Juhi P Pathak on taking this important initiative to bring out this book on the life and works of Jahnu Barua. The book would be of immense value in the world of cinema."
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