India

Mrinal Sen – Baishey Shravana AKA The Wedding Day (1960)

The time is immediately before World War II. The place a remote village in Bengal. Priyanath, a middle aged man and the last offspring of a once wealthy family, gets married to a lovely teenage girl to please his widowed mother. Overcoming the initial inhibitions, he starts enjoying the happiness of a normal married life. Read More »

Madhur Bhandarkar – Page 3 (2005)

Page 3′ takes a behind-the-scenes look at A-list celebrity lifestyles through the eyes of a female entertainment journalist. It explores the power-play between the rich and famous and the media. It is also the story of three girls trying to make a decent living in an indecent society Read More »

Ritwik Ghatak – Meghe Dhaka Tara AKA The Cloud-Caped Star (1960)

Quote:
Nita (Supriya Choudhury), breaks a sandal while passing through the market square, and without complaining, continues barefoot on the graveled street, unable to buy a replacement pair of sandals for the walk home. Patently aware that Nita has received her monthly salary, her talented, but indolent older brother Shankar (Anil Chatterjee) pays an unexpected visit, and encountering Nita absorbed in reading a personal letter from a suitor named Sanat (Niranjan Ray), playfully snatches the note and reads aloud its affectionate contents, before asking her for spending money. Read More »

Mrinal Sen – Ek Din Pratidin aka And Quiet Rolls the Day (1979)

Plot synopsis:
The bread-winning daughter in a middle-class family fails to return from work one evening. The night begins with worries at home, followed by midnight searches and finally a deepening crisis arising out of economic and moral constraints prevalent in the society. Yet the film speaks of hope, of strength hidden behind despair. Read More »

Mrinal Sen – Akaler Sandhane AKA In Search of Famine (1980)

IMDB:
A film crew comes to a village to make a film about a famine, which killed five million Bengalees in 1943.

Awards:
National Award 1981 – Golden Lotus (Best Film)
Berlin Film Festival 1981 – Silver Bear. Read More »

Mrinal Sen – Padatik aka The Guerrilla Fighter (1973)

Synopsis
A political activist escapes the prison van and is sheltered in a posh apartment owned by a sensitive young woman. Both are rebels: the activist against political treachery and the other on social level. Both are bitter about badly organized state of things. Being in solitary confinement, the fugitive engages himself in self-criticism and, in the process, questions the leadership. Questions are not allowed, obeying that is mandatory. Displeasure leads to bitterness, bitterness to total rift. The struggle has to continue, both for the political activist, now segregated, and the woman in exile. Read More »

Deepa Dhanraj – Kya hua is shahar ko? AKA What Has Happened to This City? (1986)

From the Berlinale website:
A pioneering political work of contemporary relevance: Communal violence between Hindus and Muslims in 1984 forms the starting point for this film, whose complexity lends it immense political force. The film’s historical perspective is provided by a thorough commentary, which gives the camera’s particular presence the necessary depth and complexity. The mechanisms of political power struggles, the dynamics among those that hold power, and the instrumentalisation of economic relations and urban poverty make for a striking analysis, uniquely anticipating the subsequent development of communalist conflicts and the politics of marginalisation. The immediacy achieved by filming just as violence is unfolding juxtaposed with calm observations of the devastating consequences of living one’s life during a state of emergency, thus reaching a level of respectful lyricism and contemplation that make the film much more than just a worthy reportage. Read More »