(The Man with the Axe)
Carrying an axe on his shoulder and preserving the strange memory of his encounter with a tiger, a rural migrant comes to the city and shares a temporary shelter with an old beggar in an abandoned graveyard. There are others, a vast lot of rural migrants, who, hoping against all hopes, spread out in the sprawling city and live sub-human existence.
Appears a girl from nowhere. She is a queer drifter, deserted by her husband, duped by another man and now in search of a “home”. She comes to the graveyard and enjoys a new life with the man with the axe. Later, the girl disappears into darkness, perhaps, for a better home.
The man is in frightful loneliness. And, there, in a strange fantasy, he wages a fierce battle with darkness. In darkness he meets his adversaries.
Language: Bengali (1978, Black and White
Screenplay: Mrinal SenS
Direction: Mrinal Sen
Producer: Government of West Bengal
Story: Mrinal Sen (based on a survey by Dr. Shubhendu Mukhopadhyay
Camera: Ranjit Roy
Music: B.V. Karanth
Cast: Arun Mukherjee
Sajal Roy Chowdhury
Reba Roy Chowdhury
Awards & Nominations:
National Award - Special Mention
National Award - Best Actor (Arun Mukherjee)
Moscow International Film Festival: Official Selection
Moscow Film Festival - Silver Medal
Berlin Film Festival - Interfilm Award - Recommendation
Chicago Film Festival - Official Selection
Sreela Mazumder and Bibhash Chakraborty.
Sreela Mazumder and Arun Mukherjee. This was Arun Mukherjee's first film, but he was well known as a stage director and actor.
This was the first film by Sreela Mazumder.
Sajal Roy Chowdhury.
Mrinal Sen instructing Arun Mukherjee. The role got him the best actor's award in the National Film Awards.
The film was entirely shot in an abandoned Muslim graveyard. Since then the graveyard has been entirely taken over by people who call it their home.
Mrinal Sen instructing Sreela Mazumder.
Poster, designed by Abhijit Gupta.