Sikkim-Satyajit Ray documentary film screening at Kolkata Film Festival on Nov 17

Kolkata, Nov 17 (Calcutta Tube) The documentary ‘Sikkim’ directed by Satyajit Ray will be screened again Nov 17 at the 16th Kolkata Film Festival, festival authorities said Tuesday.

‘I am very happy to announce that documentary ‘Sikkim’ will be screened again on Nov 17. We will screen only one show of ‘Sikkim’ from 5.45 p.m. to 6.45 p.m. The Art and Cultural Trust of Sikkim has withdrawn the case filed against the screening of ‘Sikkim’ at the film festival and even the district judge’s court of Gangtok has given the order to screen the film only ‘once’ on Nov 17,’ Nilanjan Chatterjee, director of Kolkata Film Festival, told reporters.

The hour-long film’s first public screening at Nandan Auditorium was held Nov 11. But within minutes of the first screening an order from the Gangtok court forced the film festival authorities to suspend the screening of its remaining shows during the entire event.

‘On November 11 after receiving the court order, we had stopped the screening of the film but I had written to the Art and Cultural Trust of Sikkim to allow us to screen the film at least once during the film festival as primarily they have proved in the court that they hold the property title of the film. And they have agreed but on few conditions which I will not make public,’ said Chatterjee.

Made by Satyajit Ray in 1971, the documentary was banned by the external affairs ministry in 1975 when the Himalayan kingdom joined the Indian union.

It was commissioned by the last Chogyal (king) of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal, and his America-born queen Hope Cooke. It was soon banned by the Indian government and remained in the cans after that.

The documentary is about the natural beauty of Sikkim and the innocence and simplicity of its people. It is about the way of living of its people. It also gave a clear picture of the socio-economic and socio-religious culture of Sikkim in the early 1970s.

The opening sequence evokes the beauty of the land, beginning with a shot of a parallel ropeway with two carriages advancing towards each other. Ray himself has done the commentary in the film, which also tells the viewers a brief history of Sikkim.

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