By Aditya Savnal. Posted on May 31, 2016
Whether you are a film buff or not, there's no way Nagraj Manjule's Sairat could have escaped your attention. Manjule's latest film is a love story that has sent audiences into a frenzy and captured their imagination like very few Marathi films before it. With Sairat, the filmmaker has proved that it is possible to make films that are entertaining yet offer food for thought and provoke a debate or discussion while operating within the confines of mainstream cinema. With Fandry and Sairat under his belt, Manjule has established himself firmly as a filmmaker who's here to stay.
Like several accomplished filmmakers, Manjule began his filmmaking foray by making a short film. Manjule's maiden filmmaking effort was Pistulya - a National Award winning short film. We have been searching for this film for some time now and came across this link on YouTube.
The film is the story of a boy named Pistulya who hails from a Dalit family and studies in the local school. However Pistulya can continue his education at the local school only if he gets a school uniform and books. Forced to beg for food by his mother and relatives, Pistulya endures his lot bravely. His determination to pursue education is undeterred and keeps him going & eventually he prevails over his circumstances.
Child artist Suraj Pawar is endearing in the titular role which won him a Special Mention and won Manjule the award for Best First Non-Feature Film of a Director at the 2010 National awards. The film focuses on themes of caste discrimination, repressed aspirations and the desire to lead a better life. These are themes that have driven the narratives of Fandry and Sairat and it is not surprising that these form the basis of Pistulya too.
In an interview to Times Of India, Manjule had admitted that the film is auto-biographical and was inspired by the experiences of the people around him and his own struggle to get education.
One however wishes that the film was uploaded in a better quality print. Nevertheless, it should not deter you from watching the film. For it gives us an early peek into Manjule's directorial abilities and tells us why all the adulation being bestowed upon him currently is completely justified.