directed by Dev Gupta
"QISSBAH - What is not a story?" tells the story of Masoom Gautam Lekhi, an indian scriptwriter, who is struggling with his dysfunctional marriage and the battle of finding a good story line for his script. The title is inspired by a mythical place that Masoom's father was fascinated about. That place is called Qissbah and people have gone there from ancient times to listen to stories and attain Moksha (Nirvana). But, at the same time, is a place from where no one has ever returned – even Masoom’s father who left him and his mother in the search of this mythical place.
Masoom feels the same urge to find more about this place and about what might have happened to his father, in order to write a story about it. He doesn’t even know if this place really exists, but this journey he’s about to start will take him to a state of mind in which he will no longer have the ability to tell the difference between reality and fiction. This short film manages to take a look on many sensitive subjects as the marriage life, infidelity, career, childrens, faith, the search for dreams and many others, having a very complex narrative line.
Dev Gupa’s short film carefuly tries to analyse the relationship between Masoon and his pregnant wife, mindfuly pointing out the delicate issue of the children coming from the broken families. He brings this problem in the discussion through his characters that are constructed in a very archetypal way. They seem to fight over minor problems and some times aren’t fidel to their parteners, even if they’ve been together for a long time. This images will certainly have a great impact over the kids coming from this type of families, growing with the idea that real love doesn’t exist and sometimes leading to social dysfunctions and sentimetal pain.
At the same time, the plot offers a fascinating radiography of the of the spiritualy dimension of the world. The human mind was always preoccupied with cheating death, predicting the future or reaching a state of Nirvana, things that resist from generation to generation through urban myths.
This project doesn’t excel nor techincally or artistically, but still manages to surprise the audience with an unpredictable twist of the story, leaving a profound impression in the ending and making the audience have a better appreciation on the innate dualism of life.