Dokh: Here’s what director Anup Baral has to say about the much-talked-about film

Of late, in the post-Covid scenario, the Nepali film industry is gradually reviving. Some Nepali films are occupying the cinema halls surprisingly. Some of them are performing beyond expectation while there are some that could not sustain even for a week after their release. In this context, a new Kollywood film, Dokh, will be released in theatres on July 8.

Dokh is a directorial comeback of well-known director Anup Baral after six years. Apparently, this is also one of the most anticipated projects by the Nepali audience as it is talked about a lot on social media. 

So, what is the film all about? Here is what director Baral has to say.

Dissecting the conflict period 

Anup Baral Dokh
Anup Baral says Dokh has offered not only the scenario of the war but many more aspects of life in general. Photo: Shankar Giri

The literal meaning of Dokh is an aggravation of typhoid, but Anup Baral says he has used the name as a metaphor to indicate a certain timeframe. Dokh tells the story of the 10-year-long insurgency period in Nepal.

The movie includes the story of an insurgency period that a general Nepali should be aware of, ” says Baral to Onlinekhabar. “The movie has focused on the psychological impact created by the conflict among the public of one specific place.” 

Director Baral believes that still many people are unaware of things that happened in the villages during the insurgency period and the film narrates the experience of locals during the same period, which he says motivated him to direct it. However, the director also says Dokh has offered not only the scenario of the war but many more aspects of life in general.

The war, according to him, is only a part of its background. 

“The psychology of the villagers at a personal level at that time is the main issue of the movie rather than in the ideology of war,” Baral says. With that, the film has also tried to figure out the impact of conflict specifically in the village. 

The film that features Diya Maskey and Manish Niraula as lead characters actually came after its script written by Rajan Kathet won a competition in 2013. Baral was a jury member in that competition.

Baral says he had expressed his commitment to directing 10 scripts if the funding was available. After the organiser agreed to invest money in the film, he decided to direct Dokh.

Perception of insurgency  

“The nation has failed to address the issue of rebels, and the people who were oppressed by the state,” says Anup Baral. Image: Shankar Giri.
“The nation has failed to address the issue of rebels, and the people who were oppressed by the state,” says Anup Baral. Photo: Shankar Giri

For Anup Baral, the insurgency has made a lot of changes in the nation. However, the changes did not meet people’s expectations.

“The nation has failed to address the issue of rebels, and the people who were oppressed by the state,” says Baral, adding, “These issues should have been the major concern of the government, but they remained aloof.”   

Dokh revolves around those very issues, says Baral. He further adds that the film has tried to expose the weaknesses of the movements and factors that affected the entire movement. 

 In most of his films, Baral says he adopts the notion of German expressionism and new realism, and he says Dokh is not an exception. Similarly, the director says, unlike many other directors, he has tried to stay exceptional by not glorifying the war. 

For the young blood 

While coming back to the Nepali cinema industry after ages, Anup Baral is happy and excited to see its progressive status. Photo: Shankar Giri
While coming back to the Nepali cinema industry after ages, Anup Baral is happy and excited to see its progressive status. Photo: Shankar Giri

While coming back to the Nepali cinema industry after ages, Baral is happy and excited to see its progressive status. The well-versed director has realised the positive impact of the theatre and film academies that have come into existence lately. 

“The growing charm in theatre and film academies has produced a number of talented artists and that is definitely positive news for the cinema industry,” says Baral.  “Lately, some of the young moviemakers have even reached the global level. Their movies have been featured even in the international film festivals.” 

Meanwhile, Baral has also some tips for all the young and potential filmmakers. He suggests they need to be actively involved in social interaction, and liberal arts. Likewise, they should be avid readers, he says.

“Putting time in literature allow you to interact with new life,” Baral says.

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