Filmmaker Anirban Dutta on conceptualizing Devotion in his second feature film Anubhuti

The movie is India's official selection to the International Film Festival of Rotterdam
Anirban Dutta
Anirban Dutta

Film-maker and screenwriter Anirban Dutta’s second feature Anubhuti, an immersive visual experience narrating the metaphoric tale of Meera Bai’s devotion towards Lord Krishna has been officially selected for the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2024 in the Harbour section. We catch up with Dutta, ahead of the screening.

How did you think of weaving the story around Meera’s devotion?

To consciously deviate from the orthodox method of looking at an artist's life only through their life's events or accounts, I instrumented Meera Bai's work as an absolute rumination of her own life. It is her intimate feelings for Krishna that influenced her to be mindful of creating such an illustrious work of literature.

Additionally, Radha appears as her muse. When she wishes to witness Krishna, she conspires with the universe to create Radha for the fulfilment of her dreams. Anubhuti's effort materialises in these transitional metaphors when Meera's idea of Radha transforms to love, live, and die for Krishna as his ultimate devotee. 

How can today’s audience relate to the movie?

I don't like to dictate my audience; neither do I like to establish something that has never existed. I believe our thoughts are inspired by the people surrounding us. Godly figures are constructed by humans and we dedicate our lives to discovering them, whereas there is a sheer lack of discovering ourselves. Once we look deep within we must be able to visualise our motifs as one of our idols.

You are currently working on the 'Road to Kiarostami'. Please tell us about that.

I have written Road to Kiarostami as part of a planned Alchemy Trilogy. It revolves around a filmmaker finding real inspirations for his debut film. It is a personal film. For the first time, I have written something completely story-centric and constructed the narrative as a wholesome, cohesive film. I met Ram (one of the protagonists) a couple of years ago when I started travelling extensively across several villages in the Eastern Himalayas. We were deeply moved and motivated by each other's stories. At the same time, our bond was even stronger over various interactions regarding Master Filmmaker Kiarostami and his works. Road to Kiarostami will not be a regular tribute to the Master Filmmaker, I want to compose the film as a testament to his teachings instead.

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