"Jogimaraka Jyundaharu" is a documentary made by journalist Mohan Mainali for the Centre for Investigative Journalism. "Jyunda" literally means the living, but ironically the film is about 17 young men from Jogimara village in Dhading district who were killed by security forces while they were building an airport in Kalikot. The story is linked through the narratives of their widows, fathers, mothers, sons and uncles. They all lost their breadwinners and the effect on Jogimara has been devastating.
Mainali's film documents the grief, the loss and chronicles how the families and the village coped with the loss of not even getting the bodies of their relatives back. The story of this community was first published in Himal Khabarpatrika and Nepali Times (#106).
Jogimara premiered recently at the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival 2002. The documentary proved to be so popular that two additional screenings at the Russian Cultural Centre played to full houses. Many in the audience couldn't hold back their tears, and many were so moved that they asked how they could help the relatives of the dead.
However, the government didn't share the audience's empathy. It made its displeasure known by harassing the festival organisers and even the film director. Groups of uniformed policemen made their presence felt at the festival venue. There was a demand for the tape and plainclothes policemen were asking questions. Finally, a phone call from a higher-up authority directed the film not be shown at all.
When an "incompetent" government declared an "emergency" in November last year, it started a process of eroding our fundamental rights. Now, with a "clean" government and a rescinded emergency, it seems we aren't allowed to watch a movie and grieve for our fellow Nepalis. Have we lost the right to weep, too?