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Wanphrang K Diengdoh: “Because We Did Not Choose”

“Because We Did Not Choose”, a fine documentation of the hard work journey of labors from the northeast India to the war front of the World War. The years of persistent work is captured in a 92-minute documentary with a self-explanatory cinematography.

Wanphrang K Diengdoh, the filmmaker elaborated saying empathetically about the story that has three chapters. Chapter one known as “Fetes and Agents”, “Sing Now” as the second chapter and the last chapter identifies the repercussions of the war. He also mentioned that maintaining the balance between the historical evidence and imagination was challenging.

The research is majorly supported by the stories and evidence archived, matching it with the events that took place 100 years ago. For him, the challenge was more like observation and motivation to shoot the documentary. Goethe Zentrum of Hyderabad helped shape the film with valuable facts and evident stories of the German participation. Largely, the film looks at the German participation and their journey of evacuating the place. Though Germans left the place, their music and musical instruments like Pianos remained. Shillong is considered to witness the highest number of Pianos that came from Hamburg and inclined the country towards music.

Wanphrang travelled all over India and returned back to Shillong to make films not purely on stories and people but researching about the efforts, political situations, changing market forces and ideas in creating their identity. He is well known as a one-man army, who solely directed, researched, designed the music and sound, cinematography and crisp editing of the documentary.

He started filmmaking as a student and continued to create legacy of 10 long years. He specializes to recognize the stories in the tribal people or community and the political ideas attached to it. “Where the clouds end” was his early films which depicted the tribal identity. Even as a child, he was curious to know about the connection of his identity or monuments around him with the place where he belongs from. The curiosity today made him a successful filmmaker with this meticulous documentary “Because we did not choose”, a journey of labors.


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