The ancient art of behrupiya performance may have been forgotten by the people. But the aptly named, powerful short film by The Behrupiya Project, The Lost Behrupiya attempts to throw light on the the current state of this once-celebrated art.
In this day and age, when every possible form of entertainment in the world is available at the press of a button, the younger generation is tragically unaware of the legacy of their own land. And this very tragedy, is what the film reflects.
The behrupiya is an ancient art of performance once practised in the Indian sub-continent. Dressed up as different characters from history, folklore, mythology or everyday life, behrupiyas would travel across the country, perform in different cities and live on alms given to them in appreciation. In the earlier days, people would wait for a behrupiya to perform in their locality - and the journey of the performer in The Lost Behrupiya shows us today's reality of the art.
Set in Benaras, and supported by an intense and moving score by Vijay Varma, the film is stunningly shot. Late actor Ashraful Haque takes us, without the use of words, through the dejection and devastation of a behrupiya in the modern world - a helpless witness to the death of his art.
A tribute to actor Ashraful Haque, who passed away a year ago today, Sriram Dalton and Rupesh Sahay's The Lost Behrupiya won the Best Film on Art and Culture at the 61st National Film Award apart from a few other international laurels.
The film, together with Ashraful Haque's thespian genius leaves you still and vacant in mourning for, well, The Lost Behrupiya. Because there's no better way to put it.
Watch the complete film here: