"An artist cannot remain himself keeping mum & quiet. There will be an expression according to the demand & cycle of history." [- Ratan Thiyam] For over 25 years now, Ratan Thiyam has been creating a theatre that is as visually compelling as it is intellectually stimulating. His repertory company is based in the city of Imphal in Manipur, a remote region on the North-Eastern borders of India; impoverished, & racked by insurgency. At the same time, Manipur holds on to a very abundant tradition in the performing arts that goes back centuries. Thiyam's theatre is steeped in these arts. But while his aesthetic influences are traditional, his concerns are intensely modern. His plays reflect upon the current socio-political crisis gripping the region; at the same time, they also dwell on the larger human condition. His work breathes with the lived experience of a community, a people. The film explores the creative landscape and politics of this celebrated theatre director. It seeks insights into the art of Thiyam - in portraits of the city where he works, in the quiet beauty of the terrain, in the violent riots that tore the land apart, in the living traditions that come alive at festive times. Formally, the film is a juxtaposition of the lived and the 'staged'. And through this juxtaposition, it examines the relevance of Ratan Thiyam's theatre to our times.
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