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Cloud-Capped Star, The (Meghe Dhaka Tara)

Cloud-Capped Star, The (Meghe Dhaka Tara)
Film Format: 
Ghatak, Ritwik
Supriya Choudhury
Anil Chatterjee
Niranjan Ray

A genteel middlle class schoolteacher and his family is tenuously spared impoverishment  by the long suffering older daughter who works herself into an abyss of exhaustion and amorous frustration, whilst her siblings relentlessly pursue their dreams of respectively, sporting, musical and matrimonial success.One of the most extraordinarily beautiful and passionate films of the 1960s. It has more in common with Fassbinder than Satyajit Ray in that it delineates a social sub-strata of Bengal who, uprooted from their homeland after the partition, willingly adopted an alien set of values in an attempt to rebuild their lives. Ghatak's anger at his people's capitulation in this matter is something that fueled his whole output until his untimely death in 1976.Ghatak never underlines this political dimension and the story plays out as an incredibly tender act of love and self sacrifice on the part of the central character- Nita. The life of the village, exquisitely photographed and irrigated by beautiful music could have been executed by Jean renoir at his peak.The director was something of a legend in his time and the documentary about him, The Name of the River, which we have in the shop, is well worth seeking out.

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