First Jasari Language Film to Travel to Cannes

RBN Web Desk: Sinjar, the first Jasari language film, is all set to be shown at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival which begins tomorrow at the French Riviera. Directed by Sandeep Pampally, Sinjar is also perhaps the only film ever to be made in Lakshadweep.

Jasari is a colloquial dialect of the island and is an amalgamation of the Tulu, Kannada, Malayalam and Arabic languages.

Sinjar narrates the story of Suhara and Fida, two housemaids working in Iraq, who are taken hostage by Islamic State (IS) militants along with other Yazidi women. The film begins with the two women being rescued by the Indian external affairs ministry from the IS and brought back home. On landing in India, it is revealed that Suhara was brutally raped by IS militants and was subject to sex slavery.

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Suhara’s brother Ansar, who is engaged to Fida, fears the same for his fiancée. He decides to confront Fida to clear his doubts. As he begins asking questions, Fida falls unconscious, and is found to be pregnant. Ansar calls off the wedding.

Suhara informs Ansar that Fida too suffered a similar fate like her. But Fida, now more determined than earlier, decides to raise the child all by herself.

According to Sandeep, the film is an attempt to revive Jasari which is now not much spoken in Lakshadweep. Sandeep was adjudged the best debutant director in the 65th National Film Awards.

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Regional Indian films have a strong presence at Cannes this year with Malayalam film Bhayanakam, Assamese film Village Rockstars, and Bengali film Nagarkirtan to be exhibited in the marketing segment. Jayarajan Rajasekharan Nair aka Jayaraj, Rima Das, and Kaushik Ganguly have directed the three films respectively.

That aside, Rohena Gera’s Sir and Nandita Das’ Manto, are already in separate competitive sections at the festival this year.

Sinjar, incidentally, is a province in Iraq and is a killing field of the IS.

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