The Head Hunter
Director: Nilanjan Datta
The Film “The Head Hunter” brings to forth a pertinent question about the creation of a homogeneous culture of existence and morality. It is about an old tribal man from a forgotten tribe of India, who dwells in a forest as ancient as him. Fierce and warrior like, rugged and wrinkled, he is the last of the North Eastern tribe of India called the `Head hunters’. Donning headgear's made of bamboo and hairs of wild bears, and wrapped in nothing more than a loincloth around his waist, he is the lone caretaker of one of the wildest and most dangerous forests of India. When the government decides to build a road through the Old man’s forest, he resists and becomes a nuisance to the administration. Finally a city bred young official, who belongs to the same tribe as the Old man and also speaks his native language, befriends him and tricks him to spend a few days in the city. For the first time in his life the Old man encounters the concept of money, concrete buildings, crowds of people and complex living. When he finally comes back to his forest everything has changed. The ancient land of his ancestors, which he was so fiercely protecting all his life, had now become a thoroughfare for the city dwellers. The film is a story of human tragedy, of an identity loss and also the comic simplicity of an ancient man who is exposed to city life for the first time in his long years. It is also about the dilemma of a young official who is forced to betray his own past, in his quest for a secure future. It also tries to represent the degradation of forest for development and although its necessary, but can a more human approach be adapted and not gulp down nature and along with all sub cultures their ethos and loose them forever.