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The new Mizo movie ‘Khawnglung run’ (Raid of Khawnglung village) was finally out for public viewing and the screening venues around Mizoram are packed with people who have been waiting anxiously thanks to all the hype generated by print, TV and social Media.

Based on a true story that took place during 1856-1859 Mizoram where head hunting was more like a sport. It is a tale of a typical Mizo village during that period where every village had to keep a look out for possible raid from rival tribes around them.

Khawnglung, otherwise a peaceful village had just broken its peace terms with the dreaded ‘Pawih ral’ (mostly Fanai tribes) and became the victims of one of the most infamous raid in Mizo history. Chala who was away while his village was attacked returned home only to find that his lover, Thangi was captured by enemies. Determined to save his lover, Chala made his way into enemy territory which was considered “lu zuar”(having a death wish) at the time and no self respecting tribe would let a “lu zuar” survive. Following Chala on his mission to rescue his lover, Khawnglung run is packed with the right mix of action, drama and romance. The scenic landscape and the culture and traditions of Mizoram have been highlighted splendidly in this movie.

Directed by Mapuia Chawngthu, Khawnglung run is a product of Lunglei’s Leitlang Pictures, a video production firm founded and owned by the later. He is the best known Mizo film maker and a pioneer in the Mizo film industry which have long been ridiculed even by the Mizo(s) themselves. Mapuia has already made hundreds of music videos for Mizo artists through his Leitlang Pictures label. He has also made several documentaries for DDK and the other two Mizo films “House no 109” and “Mission” released previously were also his.

With a budget of Rs 11 Lakhs, Khawnglung run is the most expensive Mizo film ever made.  Clear as crystal, this reflects the situation of the mediocre Mizo film industry and by the way most of the screenings were held at Town halls and other public halls as there are no such proper Movie theatres in Mizoram.

However, movie lovers in Mizoram certainly have their hopes up as Khawnglung run has managed to hook all the right kind of people. Khawnglung run was released at Chanmari YMA hall by none other than the Chief Minister of Mizoram, Lal Thanhawla. This indicates that films produced in Mizoram will have better support from the state government and that Mizo film industry will be taken more seriously in the future.

The film may be screened at various film festivals and reviews may not all be positive but this one certainly set the standard among Mizo films. Mapuia Chawngthu deserves credit as the lone pioneer among Mizo film makers and hopefully Khawnglung run will be a bench mark for the upcoming Mizo films.

Tids bits:

#1 The protagonist Chala (Alex Lalchhuankima) was among the top ten in Mizo Idol 2007

#2 The Director Mapuia Chawngthu made a cameo appearance as a ‘Thirdeng’(Blacksmith)

#3  ‘Khawnglung run’ is the most expensive Mizo movie ever made

#4  According to Mapuia Chawngthu, this movie is the first full featured Mizo movie shot in full HD

#5  The movie was completed in over two years

Read more here.

Jacob Chinzah is from Mizoram and currently doing his Masters (III Sem) in Journalism & Mass Communication at Mizoram University. He feels that it is his duty and responsibility to let people know about what actually happens in the North East. Jacob blogs at http://guerillapundits.blogspot.in