Ritwik Ghatak


Best films:
6.8 Nagarik (1952)
6.8 Ajantrik (1955)
7.2 Meghe Dhaka Tara/ Cloud Capped Star (1960)
7.2 Subarnarekha (1962)
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Ritwik Ghatak (India, 1925), who as a young man had traveled around Bengal in an itinerant theater troupe, directed Nagarik (1952), not released until after his death in 1977, Ajantrik (1955), whose protagonist is a car, Bari Theke Paliye (1958), the "partition" trilogy of Meghe Dhaka Tara/ The Cloud-Capped Star (1960), set among Bengali refugees, Komal Gandhar/ E Flat (1961), in which a Bengali refugee devotes himself to itinerary theater, and Subarnarekha/ The Golden Thread (produced in 1962 but not released until 1965), as well as Titash Ekti Nadir Naam/ A River Named Titas (1973) and Jukti, Takko Aar Gappo/ Reason, Debate and Story (1974, released only after his death), which follows the journey of three people (an alcoholic failed artist, a young refugee girl, and a poor teacher of Sanskrit).

The ideological commitment is explicit in Ghatak's films, a Bengali Marxist who devoted much attention to the plight of the East Bengali people.

The picaresque adventure of the taxi driver of Ajantrik with his "human" car through the troubled region until the death of his companion car provides a human and social fresco of vast proportions, supported by evocative imagery and a robust narrative of traditional style.

His more politicized period includes films like Bari Theke Paliye, the fable-like adventure of a runaway boy. Komal Gandhar, dedicated to avantgarde theatrical troupes, confronts the problems of social education and the social role of art.

Meghe Dhaka Tara/ Cloud-Capped Star is the moving story of a girl who sacrifices for the family until she dies of consumption (and she dies alone on the mountains) just when wealth is around the corner.

Nagarik explores the decadence of a petit-bourgeois family.

In Subarnarekha a young man finds his sister in a brothel where she kills herself in shame.

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