Buddhadev Dasgupta - poet-filmmaker died at 77

Poet, professor and filmmaker, Buddhadeb Dasgupta was one of the most important cinematic voices of contemporary India. There was humor in his films with lyricism and social concerns

Buddhadev Dasgupta - poet-filmmaker died at 77

Poet, professor and filmmaker, Buddhadeb Dasgupta was one of the most important cinematic voices of contemporary India. There was humor in his films with lyricism and social concerns. Dasgupta died on Thursday at the age of 77. He started his journey of filmmaking at a time when Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, two great filmmakers of not only Bengal but Indian cinema, were at the peak of their creativity but he had a style of his own and he soon came out of their vast shadow to make his films.

Dasgupta, who made films like 'Grihajuddh', 'Bagh Bahadur', left his job as a professor of economics to pursue a career in the film world. His doctor father had objected to choosing the path of the film world.
He was never trained as a filmmaker, he had the imagination and lyricism of a poet and the skill to turn it into cinema. This was reflected in his four-decade-long career in which his films explored the complex layers of humanity and the individual's relationship with society.

On Thursday, the dominant voice of Indian parallel cinema fell silent. Dasgupta died of a heart attack on Thursday morning at his residence in Kolkata's Kalikpur area after battling a kidney ailment for a long time. He was found dead at 6 am by his wife Sohini.

He made 'Dooratwa' in 1978 which traces the story of a liberal professor of political science who faces a crisis in political beliefs and their marriage breaks up. The film cleverly juxtaposes the personal story with the Naxalite movement in Kolkata of the 1970s. The film won him national and international awards and cemented his foray into the Bengali cinema scene as a filmmaker.

The poet-filmmaker's father Tarakanta Dasgupta was a doctor in the Railways. He moved to Kolkata when he was just 12 years old, but the districts of Purulia and Birbhum served as the backdrop for many of his films.

Some of his famous films include 'Neem Annapurna', 'Grihajuddh', 'Bagh Bahadur', 'Tahader Katha', 'Charachar', 'Lal Darga', 'Uttara', 'Swapner Din', 'Kaalpurush' and 'Janala'. He also made two Hindi films 'Andhi Gali' and recently 'Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa' starting Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Dasgupta received 12 National Awards for his films. He held liberal views and criticized the arrests of several rights activists in the country in recent times.