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Manipur Chief Minister Releases Don Bosco Film

O Ibobi Singh, Chief Minister of Manipur releases the film on Don Bosco, the ‘Hand’ at Imphal on 1st May 2011. Also seen in the picture are Rishang Kieshing, Member Rajya sabha and Fr. James Poonthuruthil, SDB Provincial Dimapur.

IMPHAL, May 2: The Chief Minister of Manipur Shri O Ibobi Singh released a film entitled “The Hand”, in Imphal, 1st May.  The film is on St John Bosco, a friend of youth, popularly known as Don Bosco. It depicts the transformation, his followers called Salesians wrought in northeast India in the last 90 years.

In a grand ceremony held at the sprawling Don Bosco School Imphal campus marking the arrival of Don Bosco relics in the city, Shri Singh handed over the first copies of the 25-minute documentary to Raja Sabha member Shri Rishang Keishing.

“The people of Manipur are grateful and proud of what the sons and daughters of Don Bosco have achieved with our people in these past years,” commented Shri Singh handing a copy to provincial superior of the Salesians of Dimapur province Dr. James Poonthuruthil.

“It is significant that the film is released in the capital of Manipur where four young Salesian missionaries where martyred in recent years at Maram (1997) and Ngarian (2001). In fact, the shoot of the “The Hand” film commenced from Ngarian where three of them were shot down. It is also one of the high points of the film and is a pointer to the total commitment of the Salesians to the region,” said Fr. Poonthuruthil.

With a subtitle, “Fashioning a people and a region…” the film traces the arrival of the first Salesians in the region and the many ways in which they endeared themselves to the people of North East. It sheds light on the ‘intense relationship of affection’ that Northeasterners today have for Don Bosco and the Salesians and the Salesians have for North East and its people.

Jointly produced by the two northeast Indian Salesian provinces of Dimapur and Guwahati and three other Salesian institutions – Guwahati-based Don Bosco Institute of Management, Bosco Reach-Out and Sampari Pictures of Agartala, the ‘Hand’ production team included technical experts from Don Bosco IMAGE, Kochi.  Jiji Kalavanal sdb of IMAGE, himself a filmmaker of note, does the camera for ‘the Hand’ while Abhijit Bose of Kolkata composed the background score.

The concept and production design is of Cyriac Pulinthanathumalayil sdb of Itanagar while Joseph Pulinthanath sdb is the scriptwriter and director. Postproduction of the ‘Hand’ was done at Don Bosco IMAGE Kochi.

Soon after the release of the film, film buffs were seen making a beeline for the stalls that sold DVDs of the ‘Hand’. According to the Producers the film would accompany the relic in its tour of North East and be available at all venues.

The arrival of the relic in Imphal also marks the beginning of the India leg of the relic’s worldwide tour. The relics casket is scheduled to tour Manipur-Nagaland states till 24th May when it leaves for Assam.

*Courtesy: C M Paul at cmpaul53@gmail.com

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