Public Eye (South Africa)

Upcoming documentar­y focuses on Rajbansi’s life

- Shorné Bennie

Ahighly anticipate­d documentar­y on the life of controvers­ial South African politician, Amichand Rajbansi, popularly known as the Bengal Tiger, is set to be released later this year, with filming already underway.

The production, named The Bengal Tiger, will be offering a series and a cinema cut by Arish Sirkissoon (LX Seth) and Shameen Thakur-rajbansi.

The trailer of the documentar­y that delves into the life and journey of Rajbansi was released on Friday.

Thakur-rajbansi said the idea of documentin­g her husband’s life and work was a topic that she always spoke to him about but he never had the time to do.

“It was an idea that I always had and spoke to him about. I used to say to him that there should be a book or movie about him and I would take my black book to him and ask him what ideas there could be for a title for a book or movie and he would say leave all that, there are more important things to work on.

“Over the years I had gathered a wealth of informatio­n and clippings on him — and his story is a legacy that should be told. Following the 2019 elections, I met Arish when he was releasing another of his movies and we then spoke about my idea,” said Thakur-rajbansi.

She said since 2021, her son Pradhil and his fiancée Priyanka worked with her to gather informatio­n on Rajbansi and set up meetings for the movie.

“It was exciting because this is about his journey into politics and a man that the current generation do not know about. It will motivate the youth, allow them to appreciate those who were a part of their journey and inspire younger and budding politician­s,” said Thakur-rajbansi.

She said the motivation to compile the documentar­y was simple.

“It is simple. He wanted to serve the people and there is a call for this message in South Africa,” she said.

“Halfway through conducting interviews and research, Pradhil and Priyanka died in a car accident. That set me back quite a bit. I then had to think about what I wanted to do.

“I decided to go ahead with the documentar­y as I wanted to document Rajbansi’s legacy.

“I have really missed the children in this time while we continued with the documentar­y, as they helped me with most of the informatio­n.

"My son hero-worshipped Rajbansi. They often went to events and meetings together and I knew they would take care of each other. This also allowed Pradhil to see first hand what Rajbansi was doing. So, this will also be a dedication to the children,” said Thakur-rajbansi.

Directed by Sirkissoon, the project promises to bring Rajbansi’s captivatin­g story to life, uncovering the untold journey of a man who overcame poverty, apartheid and scandal to leave an indelible mark on the South African political landscape during its most controvers­ial era.

“This is my first documentar­y and it certainly will not be my last. I want to tell the stories of the Indian community and how they brought change to the system.

“I am learning so much with the research and how much the Indian community played a role in liberating this country and these stories have to be told.

“This is the story of a legend that must not be forgotten. It’s best that we document it,” said Sirkissoon.

He said that he enjoyed working with Thakur-rajbansi to make the documentar­y.

“Working with Shameen was a pleasure. She allowed me to do what I wanted to do with the documentar­y. It was a devastatin­g time when Pradhil and Priyanka passed away as we worked on the documentar­y together. They were passionate about this project,” said Sirkissoon.

The Bengal Tiger will be available in a series and cinematic cut across cinemas and streaming sites.

For updates on the documentar­y’s progress and release, follow LX

SETH (PTY) LTD on social media.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? A movie poster for the upcoming Rajbansi documentar­y.
A movie poster for the upcoming Rajbansi documentar­y.
 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa