The Hungry Tide

PRODUCERS – Shernaz Italia, Freyan Khodaiji, Aditi Anand
CO-PRODUCER – Little Red Car Films

At the point where the most sacred rivers of India the Ganges, and the mighty Brahmaputra end their long journey and meet the sea, lies an immense archipelago of islands. At low tide they stretch far into the distance, hundreds of kilometers of impenetrable forests. These are the Sundarbans. Here, fresh water and salt, river and sea, land and water intermingle with mangroves and silt. The tides streak inland for almost three hundred miles and in their wake savage land, man and animal.

It is against this backdrop that the lives of Piyali Roy, Kanai Dutt and Fokir intersect. Piya, a free spirited woman of Indian parentage raised in America, inherits a certain diasporic rootlessness – a father who does not want to look back on the country he left behind, a tortured mother who longs for her ancestral home by the Brahmaputra.

A cetologist by profession, Piya comes to the Sundarbans in search of a rare species of river dolphin. It is here that she is thrown together with two men who represent entirely different worlds. Kanai, an urbane Delhite, has come to the Sundarbans on the request of his widowed aunt. Their paths cross and he is instantly drawn to this fiercely independent woman. Fokir, an illiterate, yet proud fisherman, inadvertently becomes Piya’s guide through these mazelike backwaters. In the process she is confronted with life changing choices.

The film is set entirely in the Sundarbans, meaning ‘beautiful forest’ in Bengali, and its unique ecology forms the backbone of the story. For Piya, this remote area is a cetologist’s dream; but it also becomes her worst nightmare when she is confronted by the man animal conflict between villagers and the tiger.

 Status: Script Development