indian cinema heritage foundation

Piyoli Phukan (1955)

  • LanguageAssamese
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The film Piyoli Phukan was Phani Sharma’s first independent venture as a director. The film was produced by Gama Prasad Agarwala under the banner of Rupjyoti Production and was distributed by Roop Roshni Distributor. Piyoli Phukan was the son of the ill-famed Badan Borphukan, who during Ahom rule in Assam, brought the Burmese army to overthrow the then Ahom king in the 18th century. But Piyoli Phukan was known for his sacrifice to his motherland - Assam. After the Treaty of Yandaboo in 1826, there were massive protests against the British occupation of Assam. The film Piyoli Phukan, based on life of the Assamese martyr Piyoli Phukan, depicts vividly how Piyoli (played by Chandradhar Goswami) along with Gomdhar Konwar (played by Phani Sharma) revolted against the British colonizers and planned to overthrow them. When the British came to arrest Gomdhar, he exploded himself, killing many British soldiers. Though Piyoli was physically disabled and was on crutches, he organized people to revolt against the British. Accordingly, he plotted for a massive armed attack on the British. But the British smelt the conspiracy, and just before the execution of the plan, Piyoli Phukan was arrested on the grounds of hatching a plot against the British. Eventually, Piyoli was sentenced to death, and hanged on 26th July, 1830 after a long trial.  The film Piyoli Phukan was the first Assamese film to receive the National Award (The President’s Certificate of Merit).

Dr. Bhupen Hazarika composed the music, and rendered his voice in all the songs of the film. Subodh Banerjee did the cinematography, and Kamal Ganguly was the editor. Gaur Das was the sound recordist. The film featured Iva Achao as Padumi, Jnanada Kakati as Seuti, Bhupen Barua as Bhorot, Rebeka Achao as Barphukonani, Durga Goswami as Colonel Cupper and Bibek Agarwala as Captain. Nipon Goswami played the role of the child actor in the film.

The people of Assam believe that Piyoli Phukan, who was hanged by the British on 24th September, 1830, should be declared as the first martyr of India because Mangal Pandey was hanged much later, on 8th April, 1857.
 

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