Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen passes away at 95

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Updated: December 31, 2018 12:34 AM

Mrinal Sen is one of the stalwarts who paved the way for parallel cinemas in Bengal and in India along with his contemporaries - Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak.

Filmmaker Mrinal Sen (Express Archive)

Mrinal Sen, famed Bengali filmmaker and a doyen of Indian Film industry passed away on Sunday around 10:30 am at his home in Bhawanipore of Kolkata. Mrinal Sen is one of the stalwarts who paved the way for the wave of parallel cinemas in Bengal and in India along with his contemporaries – Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Bimal Roy.

Sen, who was 95, won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005 – the highest honour for an Indian filmmaker. He was also awarded Padma Bhushan – the third-highest civilian award in India and Commandeur de l’ordre des Arts et letters (Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government for his contribution in Indian Films.

Mrinal Sen Movies:

Though his first movie, ‘Raat Bhor’ (The Dawn) was not much of a success, his ‘Neel Akasher Nichey’ (Under the blue sky) – a feature film earned him local recognition. And later ‘Baishey Shrabon’ (Wedding Day) launched him in the international platform.

A film made on shoe string budget from Government of India – Bhuvan Shome (Mr. Shome), which is said to one of the initiators of “New Cinema” film movement – earned him more recognition in both the domestic and international circuits. Some of his other noted Bengali film are Calcutta 71 (1971), Padatik (1973), Akaler Sandhane (1980) and Chaalchitra (1981).

Mrinal Sen also directed movies in various other Indian languages. Ek Din Achanak in Hindi, a film based on Bengali novel ‘Beej’ by Ramapada Chowdhury, Telugu ‘Oka Oori Katha’, a movie based on the story Kafan by Munshi Premchand, and Matira Manisha in Odiya.

His last movie was ‘Aamaar Bhuvan’ in 2002, at the age of 80.

Mrinal Sen Life:

On May 14, 1923, Mrinal Sen was born in Faridpur town, in now Bangladesh. He then shifted to Calcutta to study Physics at Scottish Church College, when he got involved with the Cultural wing of the Communist Party – which brought him closer to like-minded people from the sphere of theatre.

Sen started off his career as a medical representative, but later he joined as an audio-technician in a Film studio of Calcutta – which later drove him towards filmmaking.

With time his movies emerged as harsh critiques of the contemporary society – and would often ask the arduous questions, as he believed, “The film maker has to be an agent provocateur – one who disturbs the spectator and moves him to action”. The city of Kolkata, its people, street, essence – almost always featured prominently in his movies and transcended into a character.


Apart from the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and Padma Bhushan, he also won many national awards and Filmfare Awards for the Best feature film, Direction, screenplay and lifetime achievement award.

The famed director also served as a member of the International Jury in several international film festivals and wrote his autobiography in 2004 – Always Being Born. His death came as a huge loss for the Indian film industry.

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