(In Search of a Famine)
7 September, 1980. A film crew comes to a village to make a film about a famine, which killed five million Bengalees in 1943. It was a man made famine, a side- product of the war, and the film crew will create the tragedy of those millions who died of starvation. The film documents the convivial life among the film crew and the hazards, problems and tension of film making on location. The actors live a double life, and the villagers, both simple and not-so-simple folk watch their work with wonder and suspicion. But as the film progresses, the recreated past begins to confront the present. The uneasy coexistence of 1943 and 1980 reveals bizarre connection, involving a village woman whose visions add a further dimension of time—that of future. A disturbing situation, indeed, for the “famine-seekers”!
: Mrinal Sen
Language: Bengali (1980, Colour)
Screenplay: Mrinal Sen
Director: Mrinal Sen
Producer: D.K. Films
Story: Amalendu Chakraborty
Camera: K.K. Mahajan
Music: Salil Chowdhury
Cast: Dhritiman Chatterjee
Awards & Nominations:
National Award - Best Film
National Award - Best Direction (Mrinal Sen)
National Award - Best Screenplay (Mrinal Sen)
National Award - Best Editing (Gangadhar Naskar)
Berlin Film Festival: Official Selection
Berlin Film Festival - Silver Bear
Berlin Film Festival: Interfilm Award
Berlin Film Festival: OCIC Award, Special Recommendation
Valladolid International Film Festival: Official Selection
A film-within-a-film, Smita Patil played the role of an actress who plays the role of a villager during the 1943 famine.
Rajen Tarafdar is better known as an important film director.
Dhritiman Chatterjee, playing the role of the film-director, with Rajen Tarafdar.
Gita Sen, Mrinal Sen's wife in private life, played the role of the only remaining resident of the old house where the film is being shot.
Mrinal Sen directing Smita Patil.
Mrinal Sen explaining a scene to Gita Sen.
The house, in a Calcutta suburb, where the film was shot. The actual film crew also stayed in this building, which was mostly vacant.
The original brochure for the film.