Mayong myth captured on screen
For many of us in Assam, Mayong is synonymous with black magic. Villagers of this quaint village are regarded to practice black magic to cast evil spells on unknown people. Although no written proof ever existed, for the first time ever the myth is being documented on celluloid. Assamese film critic-turned-filmamker is presently trying to capture the myth through his documentary- Mayong: Myth/Reality.
The 53-minute documentary traces the cultural and other historical elements of the area which has been widely neglected so far in spite being so rich in folklore. It will also highlight the ancient manuscripts, books and tantric images in a bid to evoke the mind of researchers or even common tourists to visit the place.
“The irony is that most of people with whom we interacted have travelled to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, famed for its thick one-horned rhino population, more than once, without knowing that they have travelled through Mayong. So, it was very important to let them know about it,” Borpujari who is a member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), and has served as a jury member in several leading international film festivals
“On July 15 in 2011, the day Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 got released in India, we carried out an informal survey among about 200 youths in Guwahati whether they had heard about Mayong. I was shocked…many of them had not,” said Utpal Borpujari who is directing the documentary on the myth of Mayong, a small cluster of villages in Assam known for its Tantrik practices and legends associated with black magic.
Besides Borpujari, a host of youngsters are involved in the mission to explore the myth visually. “This prompted us to explore Mayong visually – to explore whether all those myths about black magic in Mayong were just myths or otherwise, why despite its legendary status in Assamese folklore, the place remains largely unknown, and what locals think about their magical heritage,” he added.
It is believed that the elements which have not been touched so far will be helpful for the research scholars. The documentary has tried to depict all these.
The documentary is being produced by Jayanta Goswami under the banner of Darpan Cine Production while the cinematographer is Biswajeet Changmai and edited by Parveen Sharma. The music has been scored by Anuraag Saikia and the narration is by Robin Kalita.