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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bengali movie Muktodhara – Alokananda Roy and the story behind the movie


Bengali film Muktodhara, directed by Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy will be released on 3 August 2012.  The movie Muktodhara is based on dancer and social activist Alokananda Roy’s invented therapy to change the convicts. Alokananda Roy worked with inmates of Presidency jail and her mission was successful. The most exciting outcome of Alokananda Roy’s work is that Nigel Akkara is playing a role of convict in Bengali movie Muktodhara.

The movie Muktodhara is inspired by Balmiki Pratibha. Alokananda Roy has been staging Balmiki Pratibha since 2007 with jail inmates and when Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy saw the program, they became excited and wanted to make a movie out of the story. Nigel Akkara, a convict with murder case and who was in Presidency jail for 9 years used to play the role of Balmiki in Balmiki Pratibha of Alokananda Roy.

Alokananda Roy told the entire story behind the stage show Balmiki Pratibha and the past life of Nigel Akkara to Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy. Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy even went to Presidency jail to see the rehearsal and at that time they decided to cast Nigel Akkara.

Alokananda Roy role in real life will be portrayed by Bengali actress Rituparna Sengupta. The name of the character is Niharika in Muktodhara.

Alokananda Roy and Muktodhara


In 2007, Alokananda Roy was invited to Presidency jail by B.D. Sharma, then IG of Correctional Homes, Special Services. The occasion was International Women’s Day. The girls in the jail staged a program. On that day Alokananda Roy felt that she can do something for the betterment of the boys and girls staying in the jail. She talked with B.D.Sharma and ultimately she was allowed to work with 10 boys and 12 girls.  Alokananda Roy started her culture therapy on them to bring back them to the main stream. At the initial stage Alokananda Roy faced lot of problems. Nigel was the most adamant student in her group but everything started changing. Suddenly the convicts started calling her ‘Ma’. Alokananda Roy staged their show Balmiki Pratibha on different locations outside the jail. People appreciated the artists of the troupe and this has helped the convicts to regain their self respects and finally changed their life.

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