The last of the iconic triumvirate of directors including Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen passed away on Sunday at his residence in Kolkota. He died of age related illness and had been ailing for the past few months. According to the family the last rites will be performed on January 2 after his son Kunal arrives from US.
Tributes poured in from far and wide for the legendary filmmaker.
Director Madhur Bhandarkar pointed out that Mrinal Sen was ‘known for his social, rebellious and revolutionary cinema’.
Nandita Das said that Sen ‘was my friend, philosopher and guide’.
Amitabh Bachchan tweeted calling Sen ‘a most amiable, distinguished, creative cinematic mind..’
Sen was renowned for bringing reality combined with aesthetics to the screen. He artistically depicted social reality. He began the ‘New Wave’ cinema with his ‘Bhuvan Shome’ which went on to win acclaim not just in India but abroad too. Yesterday, while condoling Mrinal Sen’s death, Amitabh Bachchan recalled that ‘Bhuvan Shome’ was the first film where he did the voice over.
In 1983 Sen’s ‘Kharij’ won the jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival catapulting him onto the world stage. In his six decade career, Sen was one of the most active ambassadors of parallel cinema directing in both Bengali and Hindi. His movies like ‘Mrigaya’, ‘Ek Din Achanak’ and ‘Padatik’ paved the way for parallel cinema. His trilogy of ‘Interview’, ‘Calcutta 71’ and ’Padatik’ were masterpieces reflecting the upheavals taking place in the Kolkata of the 70s where he depicted both the political and the social changes. Several of his films won national and international awards for merging existentialism, surrealism, post modernism and neo realism.
Sen was born on may14, 1923, in the town of Faridpur which is now in Bangladesh. He completed his post graduation from University of Calcutta. As a student he was greatly influenced by Marxist ideology and was actively involved with the cultural wing of the Communist Party of India. He never became a Party member but was a part of the Indian People’s Theatre Association.
He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1998-2003.
Sen’s last film as director was ‘Aamaar Bhuvan’ [This, My Land] which released in 2002.