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Adil Hussain creates space in the world stage


It was proud moment for Adil Hussain, who plays a major role in the movie ‘Gangor’, to receive a standing ovation from the crowd along with the ‘Gangor’ unit at the red carpet in the 5th Rome International Film Festival in Rome recently. ‘Gangor’ is an Indo-Italian co-production made in English and Bengali.


It was the only movie from India to be screened at the 5th Rome International Film festival in competitive section. Besides Adil Hussain, the movie features Samrat Chakrabarti, Priyanka Bose, Seema Rehmani and Tillotama Shome.


Adil Hussain, who hails from Golapara district in Assam, is a product of the National School of Drama (NSD) in New Delhi. Adil played several critical roles in Bollywood films like in ‘Ishqiya’ and ‘For Real’ besides acting in theatres across the globe.


“It was in fact a touching feeling when the crowd gave us a standing ovation. The Italian audience appreciated the movie and moved by it. It was very satisfying to portray the issue of the exploitation of the tribal people in such a way,” said Hussain, who plays the role of a seasoned photo-journalist named Upin in the movie.


Noted Italian director Italo Spinelli, who has been involved with India and theatre for several decades, took up renowned Bengali writer and activist Mahasweta Devi’s short story, ‘Behind the Bodice’ for his movie ‘Gangor’. It is based on the exploitation of a tribal woman.


“Making people cry is comparatively a bit easier. But moving audience’s feeling is something different. After the screening the movie an aged lady came up to me and touched my heart. I was so stimulated. Then I realized people still care for the downtrodden,” said Hussain who is also a visiting faculty in NSD in New Delhi.


“It was way back in Noverber, 2009, I got a call and offered a role in ‘Gangor’, which was supposed to be done by Irrfan Khan. I had to make myself prepare for the role in five days. It was a bit tough but I said OK,” said Hussain on how ‘Gangor’ happened.


The shooting unit of ‘Gangor’ had to face some tough time in West Bengal as the director Italo Spinelli wanted to look the movie more authentic. “We had a tough time in shooting as the movie was entirely shot in the actual locations in maoist-hit areas in West Bengal. Leaving the lead actors, all the people in the movie are from real lives,” said Hussain.


The director Italo Spinelli has done a magnificent job to give the reel look of ‘Behind the Bodic’. He creates a moving if technically patchy personal account of the mass rape of India’s poor, tribal women whose voices are rarely, if ever, heard.


It’s not that the movie was just liked by the spectators alone, even the western media has appreciated it.


“Hussain is magnetic, both when Upin plays the world-weary hack and as a man grappling with his conscience. The latter is not so much over social atrocities, but over his feelings for Gangor, which is where the story’s forte lies. Violence against women does not simply come from the power and animal urges of the film’s less-educated males, but is shown as far more complex,” writes ‘Hollywood Reporter’ in one of its column.


Adil Hussain, who was born in 1963 in Goalpara, has gone a long away till he reached at this height. He received the Charles Wallace Trust Scholarship to study acting in England at the Drama Studio, London.


In 1999, Adil acted as Othello in the acclaimed production of 'Othello: A play in Black and White' by the Indian Shakespeare Company, directed by Roysten Abel which was awarded the Edinburgh Fringe First. He tours with this production till date, which has traveled in the last decade to countries far and wide, including Zimbabwe, France, England, Egypt, Germany, Holland, Belgium etc.


Adil's acting credits for film and television include 'Jasoos Vijay' for BBC World Trust Service Production.


Besides being a visiting faculty at the National School of Drama in New Delhi, he also teaches acting at Drama School in Amsterdam, Royal Conservatory of Performing Arts in The Hague, and Film and Television Institute of India in Pune.


Talking of his birth place the seasoned actor feels very proud that he had the opportunity to grow up in a culturally diversified place.


“I’m very proud and grateful to those people, of course my parents and the teachers, who have played a vital role in my childhood days,” said Hussain.


He further said, “I feel happy that I had the opportunity to grow up in a culturally diversified place. I had the chance to study the works of Bishnurabha and Jyotiprasad and at the same time I could also read Ravindranath. The atmosphere gifted me with the richness of emotions.”


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