wiki:Manik Raitong

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Manik Raitong

aka Manik the Miserable 1984 149’ col Khasi d/sc Ardhendu Bhattacharya p/st Rishan Rapseng pc Neo Cine Prod. dial Humphrey Blaah lyr Skendrowel Syiemlih c Bijoy Anand Sabharwal m Kazu Matsui lp William Rynjhah, Sheba Diengdoh, Gilbert Synnah, Veronica Nongbet, Benjamin Khongnor, Diamond Matthew

Documentarist Bhattacharya’s feature debut is the first film in the North-Eastern language of Khasi. It is a folk-tale about a poor man, Manik, and his beloved Lieng who is forced to marry the tribal chief Syiem. She refuses to live with her husband and at one time has a sexual encounter with Manik which leaves her pregnant. She raises the child, but her lover is condemned to death. She jumps into Manik’s funeral pyre and dies with him. Reputed to be one of Meghalaya’s most ancient legends, relating to the origins of the region when seven of the sixteen families with privileged access to heaven decide to live on earth. In spite of some awkward acting, the film evokes the sad fatalism of marginalised people’s folk idiom in India.