Crossing Bridges (film)

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Crossing Bridges
Crossing Bridges Film Poster.jpg
Film Poster
Directed bySange Dorjee Thongdok
Produced bySange Dorjee Thongdok
Tenzing Norbu Thongdok
Written bySange Dorjee Thongdok
StarringAnshu Jamsenpa
Phuntsu Khrime
Music byAnjo John
CinematographyPooja Gupte
Edited bySanglap Bhowmick
Easel Films
Distributed byPVR Director's Rare
Release date
  • 27 September 2013 (2013-09-27) (MIFF)
  • 29 August 2014 (2014-08-29) (India)
Running time
103 minutes
BudgetRs 3,500,000

Crossing Bridges is a 2013 Indian film directed by Sange Dorjee Thongdok. It is the first feature film ever to be made in the language of Shertukpen, which is an indigenous dialect native to the state Arunachal Pradesh in India.[1] The film premiered on 27 September at the Mumbai International Film Festival in 2013. It received the National Film Award for Best Film in Shertukpen in 2013.


A middle-aged man named Tashi returns to his native village in Arunachal Pradesh after losing his job. As he waits for word of any new openings in the city, the culture and history of his people begins to have a profound effect on him and force him to reconsider his life and career choices.[2]


Director Sange Dorjee's idea for the film started when he was considering the social and economic displacement of tribal peoples of India. He mentioned that "My generation has had to leave home to get better higher-education and employment outside as the north eastern region doesn’t have the required infrastructure. The huge cultural difference we faced outside was always a shock to many. Coming back home has always been a difficult proposition, as after years of adjusting to the life outside we suddenly feel like an outsider in our own culture."[3]

Due to the film's microbudget, which was wholly funded by the director's father who "believed it was important for the community of Arunachal Pradesh", Dorjee decided to shoot the movie completely with a Canon 5D camera. He was surprised by the quality of such a standard personal use camera that he and cinematographer Pooja Gupte went ahead with it.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Crossing Bridges opened to positive acclaim amongst critics. Pooja Gupte's cinematography and the theme of 're-discovering home' were particularly praised, while the films limited appeal to mass audiences but large appeal to film enthusiasts and cinephiles were noted.

Suprateek Chatterjee of FirstPost praised the film's simplicity in its production and compared the film to Swades stating, "At a time when movies are pulling every trick in the book in an attempt to lure in audiences, Crossing Bridges relies on getting the basics right and transporting its audience to another world" [5]

Subhash K. Jha of Odisha Sun Times gave the film a 3/5 saying, "It’s that supreme serenity, the splendid synthesis of ambiance and mood that qualifies and eventually absorbs our interest. These dull lives are unique in their absolute lack of affectations." [6]

Johnson Thomas of The Free Press Journal gave a positive review and praised the cinematography stating "The cinematography by Pooja Gupte, who shot the film in Cannon 5D is simply breathtaking, allowing for a gradual cultural immurement in the land and its spiritual enchantment. The narrative is kept spare and economical by editor Sanglap Bhowmick , while the story-telling limits itself to being drawn on realism rather than melodrama. Needless to say, this film is a completely enveloping experience."[7]

Pronoti Datta of Mumbai Boss e-magazine gave the film 3/5 and stated, "The state is shown in all its picturesque glory: rolling green valleys, Buddhist monasteries, tribal dancers, phlegmatic villagers with faces weathered by the elements, fast-flowing brooks, snow-dusted trees and so on. But it’s not just pretty images. Thongdok’s quiet film in Shertukpen, a dialect spoken in the western part of Arunachal Pradesh, is about a man seduced by his own homeland, which circumstances compel him to revisit." [8]

E-magazine India News Hub summarized the film as "an honest, return-to-roots story set against a captivating backdrop." in a positive review.[9]

BollywoodTrade an online trade magazine was much more critical of the film, giving it a 1.5/5 mentioning how the film has a very little appeal to India's mass audience saying, "many of the short, interesting, dramatic, and visually appealing occasional glimpses are not well integrated into the main narrative. That’s why the film looks disjointed and incoherent." [10]

Anup Pandey of e-magazine W14 gave the film 3.5/5 saying, "For many such metaphors that the film is built on, Crossing Bridges is quite a revealing journey of a search for identity and to find answers to where does one actually belong."[11]

Siraj Syed of gave the film a 3/5 saying, "If you are likely to be moved to deep emotions and tears by the idea of a Mumbai-based IT professional rediscovering his remote countryside roots in North-East India, and making the life-defining move of permanent homecoming, you will most likely feel you have a seen a minor classic."[12]


  1. ^ "Crossing Bridges to Release in August". DearCinema. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Crossing Bridges". IMDb. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Interview with Sange Dorjee". DearCinema. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Interview with Sange Dorjee". DearCinema. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Crossing Bridges is Swades in the Northeast". FirstPost. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Small Film, Big Heart". Odisha Sun Times. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  7. ^ "A Haunting Engagement". The Free Press Journal. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Nuanced Tale of Homecoming". Mumbai Boss. Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Coming Home". India News Hub. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  10. ^ "For Indie Film Fans Only". BollywoodTrade. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Homecoming". W14. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  12. ^ "Country Roads, Take Me Home". Retrieved 1 September 2014.

External links[edit]