The Bad Image – Manipuri Feature Film – Mami – Review

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Mami The Bad Image – A opinion/review by CT Haokip, Delhi

 

Manipuri feature film Mami The Image has got wide publicity thanks to the portrayal of prostitute Kuki women in their traditional 'Khamtang' attire and the protest against it by a frontal students' organisation. In this connection I would like to put forth my observations.
Manipuri Film – Mami – The Image produced by Laishram Nongjahanba under Nongja Films & Directed by Jeetendra Ningomba. Featuring Kaiku & Bala as the leading actors and actresses. Photo: Youtube

Manipuri feature film – Mami – The Image has got wide publicity thanks to the portrayal of prostitute Kuki women in their traditional ‘Khamtang’ attire and the protest against it by a frontal students’ organisation. In this connection I would like to put forth my observations.

First, this is not the first time Manipuri film industry shows a particular tribe in a negative light. Earlier it was Churanthaba which cast a Kuki boy as a savage who come out from jungle cut off from the world of civilization. This time hapless Kuki women are made to take to prostitution worse with their traditional attire. Showing someone in any suitable role is okay but coupled with his/her prized possession which symnolizes a community in negative roles deserve a second thought.

Second, what is more important to me is not just the dress but the circumstances which led the poor women taking to flesh trade. It is no gainsaying the fact that the story is based on truth. I rather appreciate the filmmaker for bringing out the dark side of ethnic conflicts. It highlights the true story of many ill-fated Kuki women victimized by the brutal hands of NSCN (IM) during their bloody ‘ethnic cleansing campaign’ (1992-’97) upon the Kukis. Not only women, people of all ages suffered the onslaught. Many orphaned children took to forced labour in shops, hotels and roadside eateries to make their living. Many breadwinners who were forced out from their homes, in the absence of other means, took to rickshaw-pulling, charcoal burning and other odd jobs which were once looked alien. The filmmaker should at least in the background show the NSCN (IM) terrorists butchering innocent civilians. Ironically the perpetrators of such inhuman crime roam scot-free and the Govt. of India is trying to appease them. The movie should rather serve as a reminder to war-mongering people that all suffer in war.

 

* The opinion or review is being sent by C T Haokip, Delhi. The author be reached at chipinthei{at}gmail{dot}com

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