Movie dishes out food for thought on farmer suicide

'Mukkti' conveys message that 'suicide is not a solution to any problem'; directed by Machhindra More, film set for statewide release on April 4

Many films have been made on farmers' suicides in drought-prone Vidhrabha and Marathwada regions in the state so far, but  writer- director Machhindra More's 'Mukkti' stands out in the crowd as it carries a message deterring debt-riddlen farmers from taking the extreme step.

Infusing positive energy: Tejaswini Pandit and Nandu Madhav in a
still from Mukkti

More has dedicated Mukkti, an official entry in the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF)'s Marathi competition section, particularly to the farmers and their families in Vidhrabha and Marathwada regions where maximum suicides cases were reported. He plans a statewide release of the movie on April 4.

Produced by Sachin Jankar, the film has an illustrious cast that includes Nandu Madhav, Tejasswini Pandit, Nagesh Bhosale and Milind Shinde. Describing the storyline, More said, "It is a story of farmer Bhanudas, who has a dream of owning a well in his farm. He wants to flourish his land so that his children can lead a happy life.
He spends all his savings and borrows heavily to realise his dream, but his initiative goes to the wall as the farmer sees no sign of water in his well. Unable to cope with the immense pressure of lenders for repayment of loan, he decided to take the extreme step. "Ironically, after he committed suicide, times change. The government brings in new laws, cancels all debts of farmers and the very parched-well where Bhanudas committed suicide is filled with water."

Actor Nandu Madhav, who had played Bhanudas, said, "This farmer represents thousands of farmers of Maharashtra who have ended their lives. Though this film does not offer any direct solution to the problem, it carries a message that farmers entangled in financial crisis must be patient and positive thinking."

According to Madhav, the end of the film was also convincing for audience. "Bhanudas, after his death, confess before the audience that his act was wrong. Suicide was never a solution to his problems. He could have looked into the issue with a different perspective. 'Mukkti' will surely be able offer some food for thought for the audience," he said.

Pradnya Shetty, distributor of the film, said, "'Mukkti' is a social commitment for all of us. With the help Women's Bachat Gats (Money Saving Groups) and social organisations at Vidarbha and Marathwada, we have planned a mega release of the film at 175 cinemas across the state on April 4, 2012," she said.

Amit Karmarkar, a PIFF delegate who had seen the 'Mukkti', said that the film was effective and could also help a person in crisis to introspect seriously whether suicide was the only the solution of a problem. "The film is equally relevant to the urban audience," he said.

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