An Irrelevant Dialogue (Moinak Guho) India

An Irrelevant Dialogue
Moinak Guho
India. 2020. 32 min

An octogenarian couple, Shankar and Ila Bagchi, live a life of isolation confined within one room of a big, empty and time-worn house in the city. Childless by choice and unwilling to become a burden on their kin, they are in constant tussle with panic and fear. The thought of a deteriorated future – a life succumbed to bed-bounding sickness or alone without their sole companion, makes their existing loneliness only deeper. After having offered all that they could to the society including pledging their organs, they are convinced of the purposelessness of their present. Plagued by uncertainty of tomorrow and the weary mundanity of today, they resort to writing to the President of India.


Moinak Guho, is a filmmaker based out of Kolkata. An alumnus of Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, where he completed his Post Graduation in Cinema, specializing in Direction and Screenplay Writing. During his coursework in SRFTI he has made short films, both fiction and non-fiction, under the scope of his curriculum and also outside of it with independent grants. This, “An Irrelevant Dialogue” his final project in SRFTI had its national premiere at the 13th SiGNS Film Festival, Kerala 2019, and its international premiere at the 39th FilmSchoolFest Munich, 2019, where it won the Best Cinematography award. The film has since won six awards and has been screened at several festivals. Most of his short films have traveled across festivals like, the 36th VGIK Student Festival, Moscow; 15th Mumbai International Film Festival, Mumbai; 11th IDSFFK, Kerala; 9th & 11th Cut.In, Mumbai; 4th Woodpecker Film Festival, New Delhi and several others. Besides these, he has also assisted Naeem Mohaiemen and Nishtha Jain in their latest films. He is currently writing his next film.


Inspired from a true story of a living couple in India, this film is a fictional interpretation of their lives. Through the essayist portrayal of the lives of this couple the film tries to explore a global dialogue which is still considered a taboo across the world leaving two or three countries in particular. What fascinated me immediately as I read the story in a newspaper last year, is primarily the character of the old man in whose arguments I found a reflection of myself and realizing that he believed in these ideologies back in his youth was pleasantly surprising as well as resonating. Standing deep into the 21st century where we all are living isolated lives and the constant change in lifestyle with advancement in technology has made “choice” an incremental index to personal freedom, I believe this conversation that the film aims to initiate becomes essential to engage with, albeit uncomfortable. However, in reality, with these characters being insignificant someone, the argument being against the established “normal” apparently seems to be irrational and inconsequential. An irrelevant dialogue.