Private Project

Adi | At The Confluence

Far east in the Himalayan border of India and China, lives the tribal Adi people, by the river Siang. The Adi culture is beautiful and unique with shamanic chants of their mythologies of origin, animistic rituals around nature and amicable resolution of disputes in their traditional courts.
With the memories of 1962 Indo-China war still fresh, China now reasserts its territorial claim of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, the land of the Adis. This conflict is also extended to the water, and is becoming a great Dam war. On both sides of the border mega dams are being built on the elegant Siang that originates in Tibet, turns sharp through the Himalayas and flows down through the Adi villages to join the mighty river Brahmaputra in the valley of North East India.
Will peace return to the borders? Will the Adis stay Indian? Will the megadams have a catastrophic effect on the rivers - both Siang and the Brahmaputra downstream? Will this tribal culture and language survive - orally, without a script? Will India and China get into a dialogue? Through a series of encounters with the Adis by the Siang, near the old town of Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, this journey probes for answers and portrays their inspiring resilience and hope.

  • Joor Baruah
    Resilience, Glimpses of the Misty East, Vanastree, Fragile Life
  • Joor Baruah
  • Joor Baruah
  • Joor Baruah
  • David Rosberg
  • Emilio Kobak
    Assistant Editor
  • Ittai Rosenbaum
  • Joor Baruah
    Vanastree, Brothers
  • Michael Glucksmann
    Music Mix
  • Paul Zahnley, Disher Music, San Francisco
    Sound Mix
  • Robert Arnold, Lateral Films, San Francisco
  • Lauren Benzaquen
    Art Design
  • Tony Coleman
    Art Design
  • Phanuthep Sutthithepthamrong
  • Julian Sestanovich
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Santa Cruz Film Festival [Official Selection]
    Santa Cruz
    United States
    June 2, 2016
    Pre Premiere Screening
    Best Short Documentary
Director Biography - Joor Baruah

Joor Baruah is an audiovisual artist interested in using documentary (idoc), photography, music and new media for social change. His creative work mostly revolving around borderland spaces and people, include Glimpses of the Misty East (docu-series; assistant director), Vanastree: Women of The Forest (documentary; co-editor and music design), Resilience and American Justice on Trial (idoc; consultant) and Brothers (musical album; music design and vocals).
Joor Baruah is a currently pursuing an M.A. in Social Documentation (documentary filmmaking) and also serving as a teaching assistant for the Films & DigitalMedia, History of Art & VisualCulture and Art departments, University of Santa Cruz, California.
He is currently working on a documentary about the indigenous Adi tribe by the river Siang in Arunachal Pradesh, one of the alienated northeastern states of India bordering Tibet, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The Adi people are in the confluence of a struggle to protect their land, water and identity. China claims this region belongs to them. Both China and India are building mega dams over river Siang. Modernity and migration is affecting the Adi identity - Kebangs (traditional courts), Donyi Polo (sun and moon God) rituals and the Miri chants (oral history of Adi mythology).

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Director Statement

My audiovisual works aspire to document a critical view of social, political and cultural issues. Through the simplicity of a moment, a frozen frame, I deconstruct the space and the energy to portray a point of view, one version of the truth.
I experiment with temporal and spatial narratives to emote with layered semiotics. Often I use audio and objects in conjunction with the photographs encouraging viewers a multi sensual and multi dimensional co-creation of meaning.
I focus on the quotidian and document themes like borderlands, modernity, ethnography, gender and conflict using texture, mood and metaphors as the language of my narratives.