Entertainment

A film with panache for a bright living

R K Suresh
“An ignorant wreck less moment can spell a doom of one’s life

But life is too precious to give up for a momentary lapse in ignorance


Everyone has a choice to make up for all the mistakes

Either you wait for the intangible next life

Or you can accept the challenge today in this surreal life”


This is the underlying message behind SHINGNABA (CHALLENGE), a documentary film that will inspire everyone to be optimistic about life rather than fading away in the face of time without a flicker. Shingnaba literally meaning Challenge is a narrative of an unusual body builder; who has accepted the challenge, to prove the sanctity of life.

Every frame of this subtle film from Effective Television is like a fine ballet depicting a fictional life of the hero of a melodramatic film; it’s just that everything in this film is based on the real life of the positive Mr Manipur, Kh Pradip Kumar who is living with the deadly HIV in his blood.

Shingnaba is one of the compilations of three documentary films addressing the Overcoming Stigma and Discrimination (OSD) project launch by Australian International Health Institute (AIHI) in collaboration with Project ORCHID. Unlike the other two, the protagonist in Shingnaba is a famous and extraordinary personality so; the film has to be extra ordinary to impress the audiences.

Directed by Bachaspatimayum Sunzu, Shingnaba is different and unique in every sense of film making with unconventional cinematography and each frame is the missing pieces of an invaluable enigma. With perfect story build up, this film is an amalgamation of creative visualization and a subtle narration in Pradip’s own voice that will keep the audiences glued to their sits without a blink. On the other hand, the visual of the film perfectly blends with the music creating a gradually increasing tempo in harmony with the theme of the film.

However, the film lacks a melodramatic punch in the voice of the narrator (Pradip’s narration) and the underlying idea behind the flashback rather takes time to sink in. This film is not for those who are looking for a spoon fed story. Rather, this film is something that leaves you pondering on the enigma of life in general and the fight for equality of every sentient being irrespective of whether they are infected with AIDS or not.

Ironically, the issue of AIDS is very popular and the people are very much aware of all the issues related with it. In today’s time of advanced media, people want everything to be extraordinary and different. And the way Shingnaba presents the issue of overcoming the stigma and discrimination of AIDS succeeds in garnishing this message with panache and mellow.     April 2009

The writer is a freelance journalist based at Imphal, Manipur.