Gautam Singh: My film GAON is inspired by my village in Jharkhand

It is a feeling of community that runs through Gautam
Singh’s film GAON. While you may wonder if such a concept of harmonious living
ever existed, it may interest you to know that the director took inspiration
from his own village in Jharkhand for this particular project. “GAON is inspired by the true story of my village in
Jharkhand. Once, in this remote and isolated community, villagers coexisted
like members of a large extended family where they maintained a unique way of
life—mellow and harmonious, celebratory and united,” he says.
However, the influx of money and structures
completely succeeded in killing this feeling of community. “With the passage of
time, government and private agencies alike made inroads into this simple
community, throwing open the floodgates of drastic change which would come to
erode the very fabric of village society. With the arrival of new institutions
such as government schools, a police force, and a banking system, money began
pouring in. The village began to change,” he says, adding, “It came to possess
many of the same amenities found in modern urban centres around the world.
Citizens disengaged from one another, growing progressively private, limiting
interaction, and keeping to themselves and their families. The agricultural way
of life and the traditional spirit of self-sufficiency were shunned in favour
of reliance on government support or the earnings of a single family member
working in the city.”

The fabric of not only his village but numerous
villages across the country has been altered thanks to this change. This is the
focus of the film as well. “Regrettably, so many villages across India share
the same story of erosion. GAON is the story of two Indias, completely
indifferent to each other but living side by side in order to co-exist,” he
says.

Not only is the basic framework derived from his
own life, but Gautam confesses that some of his characters too are based on
people from his own village. “The story is indeed inspired by true events
of my own village – Asaria in Jharkhand. Most of the characters in the film –
the mad scientist living on the mountain, Vaidji (the spiritual doctor and
leader), Mangla (the muscle man), Sango and even Bharat are the real people
from my village. I have just fictionalised certain events to make them more
interesting and acceptable for the wider audience,” he says.

“Gaon The village no more” is
directed by Gautam Singh, stars Shadab kamal, Neha Mahajan, Gopal K Singh,
Rohit Pathak, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Omkar Das Manikpuri, Shishir Sharma,
Praveena Deshpande. The film is slated to release on 26 October 2018.

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