7 September, 1980. A film crew comes to a village to make a film about a famine, which killed five million Bengalees in 1943. It was a man made famine, a side- product of the war, and the film crew will create the tragedy of those millions who died of starvation. The film documents the convivial life among the film crew and the hazards, problems and tension of film making on location. The actors live a double life, and the villagers, both simple and not-so-simple folk watch their work with wonder and suspicion. But as the film progresses, the recreated past begins to confront the present. The uneasy coexistence of 1943 and 1980 reveals bizarre connection, involving a village woman whose visions add a further dimension of time—that of future. A disturbing situation, indeed, for the “famine-seekers”! —mrinalsen.org
Mrinal Sen was born on May 14, 1923, in the town of Faridpur, now in Bangladesh. After finishing his high school there, he left home to come to Calcutta for studying physics. During his student days, he got involved with the cultural wing of the Communist party. Though he never became a member of the party, his association with the Indian Peoples Theatre Association brought him close to a number of like-minded cultural people.
His interest in films started after he stumbled upon a book on film aesthetics. However his interest remained mostly intellectual, and he was forced to take up a job of a medical representative, which took him away from Calcutta. This did not last very long, and he came back to the city and eventually took a job of an audio technician in a Calcutta film studio, which was the beginning of his film carrier.
Mrinal Sen made his first feature film in 1953, which he soon tried to forget. His next film, Neel Akasher Nichey (Under the Blue Sky), earned… read more