Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2016 Projects

2016 Script Development Fund Projects

Project The Secret of Radha
Category Asian Project
Project The Secret of Radha
Director Subarna THAPA
Country Nepal
Director's Profile Nepalese filmmaker Subarna Thapa was born in 1973 in Kathmandu and has lived in France since 1999. A graduate in dramatic arts from the Cours Florent, Paris, he has played many roles in both France and Nepal, honing his craft at the Comédie Française, and also with the Japan Foundation in Tokyo and the Asia Society in New York. His first short film, Malami (Funeral) (2008), was screened in many international short film festivals , received several awards and was broadcast on France 3. Soongava: Dance of the Orchids (2012) is his first feature length film and the first in the 60 years of Nepal’s cinema history to tackle the theme of same-sex relationships.
Radha (28) lives in a remote region of Nepal. One day, she receives an email from her husband, Basudev Balami (26) whose whereabouts have been unknown for two months. To add to her countless challenges, Radha discovers that she is ten weeks pregnant. The local cyber cafe owner Sundar (30) reads it aloud in front of curious villagers and that also helps to shut the mouth of gossipmongers. It's been five months since Basudev's disappearance and she continues to receive emails. One day she receives an anonymous letter, addressed to her, from an employment agency based in Kathmandu. Sundar reads it to her revealing that Basudev is hospitalised in Doha from an accident at work, and that if any family members want to visit him, the company will bear all the expenses. Radha shares her desire to visit Basudev with Sundar, and soon Radha finds herself in Doha. On the hospital bed is a severely burned body of Basudev covered in bandages. Radha bursts into tears. He can hear and see her but can't speak. However Basudev doesn't make it. But Radha is not broken. She completes the formalities and returns home with the dead body and insurance money. In Kathmandu, Radha reveals to the employment agency that the dead body is not her husband. Radha decides to find out how this dead man was wearing her husband's identity. And the bigger question, if this is not her husband then where has Basudev been for the past six months?
Director's Note
When I was about 7, I recall going back home with my parents in a bus. My father got off at one stop and he never came back. I never asked my mother about it. Everyday, thousands of Nepalis are compelled to go abroad in search of a better life, oblivious to the risks. The film is set in rural Nepal, Kathmandu and Qatar, the country that is hosting FIFA World Cup 2022. Over 400 Nepalis die each year in Gulf countries while laboring and this number is increasing. This film is about Radha, a young, illiterate, married woman with a strong will. A love story of a woman with faith, dignity and has the courage to seek her beloved, even if that means travelling to a foreign land. Radha, our protagonist represents Earth while the other protagonists weave elements of solidarity, shame and surprise into the fabric of this story.
Still Cut
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