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Films of Putul Mahmood: Atasi& Three Sisters

Updated: Dec 17, 2020


Atasi was close to her father who loved her. After his death, her mother and brother declared her ‘mad’ and forcibly admitted her to the government mental asylum in Kolkata. She spent two years in the asylum and after her recovery she returned home. The atmosphere at home was hostile and she was extremely lonely. She spent time looking for friends online and that is when she fell in love on Facebook with a Punjabi boy who worked in the Middle East. This love gave her the strength to get out of her terrible situation at home and move to a fairy tale ending. Atasi is as much a story of love in the time of madness, as it is of a dysfunctional family living in an odd little house in Calcutta. I have made a trilogy of films - documentaries under the theme of Love In The Times of Madness - films of women, madness and love. Atasi (52.25) is the first of the trilogy - It won the Best Film (under 60 mins) at MIFF 2020. Mumbai International Film Festival - apart from being screened at the IDSFFK, Kolkata International Film Festival, Kerala Literature Festival, and several other screenings in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, Nasik.


‘Three Sisters' Shikha, Rupashi and Seema were forcibly admitted by their family to the government run Lumbini Park Mental Hospital in Calcutta, twenty years ago. They have been living there ever since separated from and neglected by their family who never visit them. On a hot humid afternoon in August 2017 an attempt was made to persuade their family to take the three sisters back home. My film crew and I traveled with some social workers and the three sisters to their home near the border between Bangladesh and India. This is a story about the three sisters' madness, their longing for familial love and their tremendous grace and dignity in the face of denial of that love.’

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