Obit: Mrinal Sen broke aged old stereotypes, giving a new direction to film making in India

adminDecember 31, 2018

"By accident, a movie producer … Good or bad, yes or no, they know me as an iconoclast," said Mrinal Sen about himself in his autobiography, giving an apt and characteristic witty description of his film philosophy.

Anyone who had the privilege of interacting with Sen, always vouched for his sense of humor and down-to-earth approach, making him a wonderful and unimaginable conversationist.

Perhaps this was the ability to easily reach out to all parts of the people around him who made Sen so socially aware, thus producing a large crop of serious films that challenged prevailing social feelings and mores, putting a mirror in front of society .

Satyajit Ray (left), Jyoti Basu (second left) and Mrinal Sen (extreme right)
Movie maker Satyajit Ray (left), former Kolkata CM Jyoti Basu (second left) and Mrinal Sen (extreme right)

Sen (95), who died in Kolkata on Sunday, was the last surviving member of the "trinity" from Bengal – including master filmmakers Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak – who bore the parallel (or new wave) cinema in the country by starting and cradle it domestic film community movement in one of the coffee pits in Kolkata.

The Troika gave a new direction to the idea of ​​film creation in India, with their intellect, spontaneity, knowledge of the world cinema and deep understanding of the nuances of the medium that made the world look up in wonder and respect their creations.

A Marxist in faith, however, never taking the membership of any communist party in India, directed Sen to break old stereotypes, and highlighted issues such as the exploitation and erosion of values.

Mrinal Sen

Take, for example, the movie "Kharij & # 39; where the servant boy, a minor, works in middle class family in Kolkata (then called Calcutta), dies by carbon monoxide poisoning after being slept in the kitchen. Dreadful of retaliation, police, scandal, and weighting for guilt, the young employer and his wife all go together to please the deceased father. The surviving man, however, shows great dignity and clearly returns to the village, so that employers are morally crushed.

& # 39; Kharij & # 39; The urban middle and upper classes shook so much that many changed their treatment of servants, especially to give them better places to sleep.

& # 39; Kharij & # 39; belonged to a particular period in Sens's career, the beginning of the 1970s – a time of great turmoil and political unrest in Calcutta with the Naxalite movement spitting blood on the streets – where he made films as provoked urban societies, and subtly captured the political uprising .

Mrinal Sen

Many critics have considered this particular period of Sens's career centering around the Eastern metropolis as its most productive.

The highlight of the genre was the trilogy – Interview (1970), Calcutta 71 (1972) and Padatik (1973). All three films are considered masterpieces for their social messages and political overtones.

Then, born on May 14, 1923, at Faridpur (now in Bangladesh), Sen made his first Bengal movie & # 39; Rat Bhore & # 39; in 1953, but it was his other direct bet & # 39; Neel Akasher Niche & # 39; (Under Blue Sky) who received recognition in the country for its lyricism and human traits.

Then came up with the & # 39; Baishey Shravan & # 39; (Wedding Day), who earned him plaudits from critics outside Indian Shores.

Mrinal Sen
Mrinal Sen

In 1969, Sen worked with a small budget from India to lead "Bhuvan Shome" (Mr. Shome) – considered an important milestone in the new Chinese movement in India.

Among his venerable films is "Adhuri Kahani", Chorus (1974), Mrigayaa & # 39; (in Hindi – The Royal Hunt – 1976), Oka Oori Katha & # 39; (in Oriya – The Outsiders – 1977), "Ek Din Pratidin", "Akaler Sandhane", "Charij" (Chalmers), Chalchitra (The Kaleidoscope – 1981), Kharij (1982), & # 39; Khandhar & # 39; 1983, Genesis (1986) and "Ek Din Achanak" (Suddenly One Day – 1989).

Mrinal Sens's first movie poster "Aamaar Bhuvan & # 39; (L), and the filmmaker with Nandita Das (extreme right)

His latest movie "Aamaar Bhuvan & # 39; (This, My Land) came in 2002.

Then he has left a rich repertoire with 27 feature films, 14 shorts and four documentaries during a career spanning six decades.

Then Sen. Padma received Bhushan in 1981, Dadasaheb Phalke – the highest prize in Indian cinema – in 2005, the French government's commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2001, and the Order of Friendship of the Russian government in the same year.

Saira Banu & Mrinal Sen
Saira Banu & Mrinal Sen (R)

He was a member of Rajya Sabha from 1998 to 2003, and president of the International Federation of Film Associations for a while.

Late respected worldwide, Sen served as a member of the International Jury at various film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, Tokyo, Tehran, Mannheim, Nyon, Chicago, Ghent, Tunis and Oberhausen.

He released his autobiography, Always Being Born & # 39; in 2004.

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