Haobam Paban Kumar’s Manipuri film ‘Loktak Lairembee‘ (Eng: Lady Of The Lake) is the first film from Manipur to be released in Netflix.
The movie explores the life of fishermen living in huts built on floating biomass whilst addressing the socio-political factors that impact their daily experience. Under the tutelage of legendary Aribam Syam Sharma, Haobam did not bustle into regional cinema, and he also chose not to fit in. Truth, as they all say, is reiterated several times and it would be fair to say that the director’s first feature film painted an honest story in a multifaceted manner.
The working title of the film was ‘Nongmai’ which means ‘gun’ before it got changed to ‘Loktak Lairembee‘.
SYNOPSIS: Loktak lake is a unique ecosystem where fisherman lived in huts built on floating biomasses. In 2001 the authorities, in the name of protecting serenity of the ecosystem, burnt down hundreds of these crumbly huts leaving thousands of fishermen homeless. Tomba, one of the victims, lives with a harrowing nightmare of looming displacement since then. He is haunted by seamless fear of further intervention of authorities that would make him homeless forever. Confined in his makeshift hut, Tomba senses the spirit of evil around, while his wife Thambalsang works hard to make their living. One fine morning Tomba accidentally finds a gun hidden within the biomass. he marvels with the gun as his power of self-protection. He transforms himself to an assertive man who is looking for an old lady who mysteriously wanders in the lake, knocks at his door in the middle fo the night. Fearful Tomba, anticipating the lady as the spirit of all evils, chases her and commits an unintended crime.