Indian Journal of Burns

: 2013  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 81-

The Burning Story

N Venkateshwaran 
 Co-Editor, Indian Journal of Burns, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Jupiter Hospital, Thane, National Burn Center, Airoli, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
N Venkateshwaran
Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Jupiter Hospital, Thane, Mumbai, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Venkateshwaran N. The Burning Story.Indian J Burns 2013;21:81-81

How to cite this URL:
Venkateshwaran N. The Burning Story. Indian J Burns [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Jul 26 ];21:81-81
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Burns is a theme which has been often used by Hindi filmmakers to depict social issues like dowry, harassment of the daughter in law, scorned lovers, etc. But the issue is often blunted by cinema dramatics and the need to focus on the actual storyline. Hence, the importance of a movie like "The Burning Story" produced by Films Division India and directed by Ms. Anjolie Purat which tackles the issue of burns head on and can well be a landmark film in terms of the content and the message it delivers.

The movie starts on a positive note with intonations of sacred mantras and a rising sun depicting a new beginning. One of the major plus points of the movie is the voice over which is provided in his trademark resonant, but easy on the ears voice of Mr Harish Bhimani. It is well that "viewer discretion" has been advised at the beginning of the movie, for what follows can definitely make even strong men queasy and left feeling weak at the knees. The story of the homicidal burn the wife receives from the jealous drunkard husband could have been better enacted and picturized, but drives the point home anyway. The movie as such is extremely instructional with respect to the causes, anatomy of skin, treatment in the form of dressings and surgery, and aftercare of burn survivors. Introduction of the concept of banana leaf dressing by Dr Madhuri Gore is a special touch and will definitely strike audiences as an ingenious and simple technique of low cost indigenous dressing. Even better, the fact that the dressing is being shown prepared by a burns survivor herself gives an underlying message of vocational rehab for the survivors. The inclusion of physiotherapy, splintage, and pressure garment use sanctifies the whole plot. The movie depicts the sorrow and pathos in burns care showing the heart rendering story of the little boy who has sustained facial burns. Finally, a much needed strong pitch is given for the cause of skin donation, an erstwhile neglected concept in the arena of organ donation. Excellent footage is provided to skin harvesting, banking and storage which may be instructional even to some burn surgeons who may watch the film let alone lay public.

Critical comments about a movie made with noble intentions are difficult to make, but need to be mentioned for completion. Far less time has been spent on the social aspects of burns and too much on the process of surgery (e.g., suturing of grafts, etc.). It is also important to stress the costs involved in burn care, an aspect which lay population is largely unaware of. And lastly, a serious lapse like making a movie about burns without mentioning even a word about prevention is like talking about the history of cinema and leaving out Amitabh Bachchan. But having said that, it is a must watch for the public as it provides insights into the world that burn patients, survivors, and specialists live in. It is also most recommended to all clinicians and students alike as it depicts the dedication and teamwork that is involved in the rehabilitation of every single burn victim. Kudos to Anjolie Purat and her entire team for their research and efforts. A copy of the film can be obtained from Ms Purat ([email protected] ) on request from any person or institution interested in its screening.