Humanity has always taken precedence over ideology for auteur Mrinal Sen, who did not deter to join the movement against Nandigram violence in 2007 despite his Left leanings. Sen was a rebel who believed in fighting for the cause of common people of and off the camera, veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan has said during a session at Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet here on Thursday,
“For him (Sen), humanity was more important than his ideology. He had very high integrity. He joined a big procession in Kolkata in protest against the shootings in Nandigram despite his Leftwing ideology,” said the ‘Mukhamukham’ (Face to Face) director, credited for pioneering a new wave of cinema in the early 70s.
Appreciating Sen’s body of work, Gopalakrishnan said ‘Ek Din Pratidin’ (1979) by the auteur was among his all-time favourite films. That is one film where he says that everything without saying anything. It stands out in the Indian cinema as a great example of a filmmaker’s genius. Everyone who sees the film wonders what happens to the girl and where was she all night? As she quietly walks in the next day, neither she says anything, nor does any family member ask her. That is a remarkable.
Sen had won National Award for ‘Ek Din Pratidin’. To a question by the audience, Gopalakrishnan said that both Satyajit Ray and Sen have made films on Kolkata, but there was a difference in the way they approached the subject. However, asked about his approach to films, Gopalakrishnan said that “My subject is politics, but my films are not political. I only ask questions, never answer them. I am not sure about the answers, as an artist I keep searching.
Fourteen people were killed in alleged police firing in 2007, at the height of an anti-land acquisition agitation at Nandigram in Bengal’s West Midnapore district. The CPI(M)-led Left Front was at the helm of affairs in the state at that time.