India | 2018 | 123 min | Garo
Set in a village on the border between Meghalaya and Assam, Ma•ama concerns 85-year-old Philip Sangma who has lived every day of the past 30 years waiting to be reunited with his dead wife, Anna. As the story commences, Philip’s yearning is undermined by a dream in which he searches for Anna on a hilltop full of women but fails to recognise her face. Has she continued to age even in the afterlife and changed beyond recognition? Philip’s obsession with Anna, who allegedly died in a black-magic ritual, undermines his relationship with his second wife who tartly reminds him that he has always treated her as second best. Philip himself is named after and played by director Dominic Sangma’s own father. Having lost his mother at the age of two and a half, the filming of Ma•ama provided Dominic with a means to resurrect her. At one point, he actually enters the narrative, shooting everyday rituals connected with his family’s Christian faith.
Born in Meghalaya, Dominic Megam Sangma is a graduate of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata. He worked at the National Film Development Corporation for two years before opening his own production company, Anna Films. Dominic has previously directed the shorts Karyukai (2010), Rahales’ Little Theatre (2011) and Rong’kuchak (2014). He currently teaches directing and screenwriting at the Film and Television Institute, Itanagar. Of his creative process, Dominic says, “It took me more than five years to prepare myself to write this script, which involved intimate conversations with my father, which led me to delve into his painful memories.” He continues, “His wife and my mother passed away 25 years back. I have no personal memories about her … The film is the quest of both father and son to fill that gap.”