Ritwik Ghatak

Ritwik Ghatak – Komal Gandhar AKA E-Flat AKA A Soft Note on a Sharp Scale (1961)

Synopsis
Through the microcosmic perspectivising of a group of devoted and uncompromising IPTA workers, Ghatak with his signature style touches on varied issues of partition, idealism, corruption, the interdependence of art and life, the scope of art, and class-struggle. Read More »

Ritwik Ghatak – Amar Lenin AKA My Lenin (1970)

Quote:
Amar Lenin is a 1970 black and white documentary film directed by film director Ritwik Ghatak made for Government of West Bengal in the centenary year (1970) of the birth of Vladimir Lenin.

After making the film, countries such as the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of Poland approached Ritwik Ghatak for him to show the movie in those countries. However, issues arose with the National Film Censorship Board of India which did not approve of the movie and banned it in India. Ghatak and his team had to work hard to have the movie passed by the censorship board. Ritwik Ghatak personally met with Indira Gandhi on this matter. Read More »

Ritwik Ghatak – Jukti, Takko Aar Gappo (1974)

Ritwik Ghatak’s final film (made two years before his untimely death) features Ghatak himself in the role of Nilkantha Bagchi (the name is deliberately chosen to draw parallels between Lord Shiva’s blue throat after having swallowed all the poisons-of-the-world during the churning of the ocean and the character in the film), an alcoholic intellectual nearing the end of his life who journeys forth through Bengal, deep into the fabric of his past life, loves, and friendships. It is a not-so-veiled self-portrait of the director himself. 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 »

Ritwik Ghatak – Ajantrik aka Pathetic Fallacy (1958)

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Synopsis

The plot of Ajantrik (Pathetic Fallacy) revolves around Bimal and his battered taxi, an old Chevrolet, he calls Jagaddal. Because he treats his car as a living being, many consider Bimal to be mad.

Said Ritwik about the film: “You can call my protagonist, Bimal, a lunatic, a child, or a tribal. At one level they are all the same. They react to lifeless things almost passionately. This is an ancient, archetypal reaction….The tribal songs and dances in Ajantrik describe the whole cycle of life – birth, hunting, marriage, death, ancestor worship, and rebirth. This is the main theme of Ajantrik, this law of life.”

Music by Ali Akbar Khan.
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