Village Rockstars

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India | 2017 | 87 minutes | Rima Das

A willful 10-year-old girl in rural India decides to form a band, despite the limitations of her impoverished lifestyle, in this observational portrait of self-actualization and the joys and challenges of growing up.

10-year-old Dhunu lives in Chahaygaon, a remote village in northeast India. When she's not helping her overworked, widowed mother and her school-skipping brother with their farm, she can be found hanging out with the local boys, much to the chagrin of the village's women who'd rather she stop acting like such a tomboy. Dhunu isn't all that interested in normal, though, a willfulness that's exacerbated when she witnesses a "boy band" perform at a local event. These preteens can't actually play any music, but the sight of them lip-synching along to a popular song while pantomiming on instruments made out of cardboard and Styrofoam sets a goal for Dhunu; despite the limitations of her impoverished lifestyle, she will form a band. Or at the very least, save up enough to buy a used guitar. Village Rockstars is much more than your standard, plucky coming-of-age narrative, its power found as its matter-of-fact, observational portrait of the tough choices kids must make in the face of things they cannot control, and the self-actualization of a young girl in a society that frankly isn't interested in anything but tradition. "We lose our farm in the flood every year," Dhunu remarks to her mother. "Why do you still farm?" "Work is religion for us," her mother replies. "Hard work is the only thing we have."

Director Biography
Born in a remote Assam village in northeastern India, filmmaker Rima Das knew very little about the world of cinema, satellite television, or filmmaking. Her journey to Mumbai with hopes of becoming an actress exposed her to a world of film, where she later made her directorial debut with the film The Man With Binoculars (2016), which was featured at the 2016 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Village Rockstars (2017) was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Sponsored by PATH, MOViN 92.5

  • Director: Rima Das
  • Principal Cast: Bhanita Das, Basanti Das, Boloram Das, Rinku Das, Bishnu Kalita
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: India
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 87 minutes
  • Producer: Rima Das
  • Screenplay: Rima Das
  • Cinematographers: Rima Das
  • Editors: Rima Das
  • Music: Amrit PRITAM
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Man with the Binoculars: Antardrishti (2016)
  • Language: Assamese
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Asian Shadows