A young woman desperately struggles to keep her family out of poverty in this fiercely moving masterpiece by the great, perennially under-recognized Indian auteur Ritwik Ghatak. –TIFF
Ritwik Ghatak was born in Dhaka in East Bengal (now Bangladesh). He and his family moved to Calcutta (now Kolkata) in West Bengal just before millions of other refugees from East Bengal began to flood into the city, fleeing the catastrophic Bengal famine of 1943 and the partition of Bengal in 1947. Identification with this tide of refugees was to define his practice, providing an overriding metaphor for cultural dismemberment and exile that unified his subsequent creative work. The 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, which led to more refugees fleeing to India, was to also have a similar impact on his work.
In 1948, Ghatak wrote his first play Kalo sayar (The Dark Lake), and participated in a revival of the landmark play Nabanna. In 1951, Ghatak joined the Indian People’s Theatre Association ( IPTA ). He wrote, directed and acted in plays and translated Bertolt Brecht and Gogol into Bengali. In 1957, he wrote and directed his last play Jwala (The Burning).
Ghatak entered the… read more
More on Malick in our critics’ TIFF correspondence, which continues with Oliveira’s new film, a visceral documentary and a restored classic.