While there have been a number of documentaries on the lives and works of filmmakers across the globe, very few Indian directors have been the focus of such works. One exception is, however, Oscar winner Satyajit Ray, who was the centre of an acclaimed documentary by Shyam Benegal in 1982.
Now another Indian filmmaker is set to join Ray in that rare list. For the last one month, Jaideep Sarkar, who earlier made a well-received documentary on rock band Indian Ocean, has been following filmmaker Sudhir Mishra to make a documentary on him. So far, they have already travelled to Delhi where Mishra spent many years as a youngster. Next they will travel to Madhya Pradesh and Lucknow, where Mishra grew up.
According to Mishra, he was earlier reluctant to give in to the idea of a documentary on himself, thinking that such a film might appear narcissistic. "But I got sucked into the project because Jaideep wanted to use my life and cinema as a window to look into the culture of the kind of filmmaking that I represent. What happened to my colleagues and the idealism of our cinema?"
The director adds, "So many of my colleagues from non-mainstream cinema are woven in the story that we get a microcosmic view of the whole generation of filmmakers that came with me."
The documentary is titled Bawra Mann, and is based on a song by the same name from Mishra's Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi.