Identity Crisis Stares at Bengali Cinema, Says Madhabi Mukherjee

Thiruvananthapuram: The Bengal film industry faces an identity crisis, according to legendary Bengali actor Madhabi Mukherjee, the chief guest at the opening cinema screening of the 22ndedition of IFFK.

Keeping all her busy shooting schedules aside, Madhabi Mukherjee has travelled to Thiruvananthapuram to be a part of the state’s film festival. The actor, in a special interaction with the IFFK official media cell, elaborated on the long lost glory of Bengal cinema and the participation of women in the arena. Though there has been an increase in the involvement of women in the celluloid medium, there exists a dearth in films depicting social reality, she lamented.

Theatre art has come to a close in Bengal culture. Ritwik Ghatak had elevated the status of Bengali film culture thereby rendering a novel dimension to the then films. Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, who provided a platform for the artistic and creative expressions, made significant contributions, creating a renaissance in all walks of Bengali society. The films of socio-political relevance are hardly emerging in Bengali cinema these days, Madhabi said, admitting that she finds it hard to connect the present-day movies with the motifs of social realism and idealism.

Malayalam cinema has carved a niche through a broad and independent outlook, in comparison with the current Bengali cinema. “The right to freedom of expression should not be restricted. We have to ensure liberty at any cost,” Madhabi Mukherjee added, while firmly stating her stand on the heated debates regarding the ‘Padmavati’ controversy.


King of Peking Opens to Mixed Reviews

The 22nd International Film Festival of Kerala got off to a start today, and Tagore Theatre – the main venue – saw film enthusiasts of all ages queuing up for the opening film here. The first screening at Tagore Theatre was that of ‘King of Peking’.

The film, a Chinese tale, evoked mixed reviews. ‘King of Peking’ portrays an ethereal father-son relationship, their passions, and how a projectionist father’s intense like for films, overpowers all the hurdles.

The film, directed by Sam Voutas, reminded some of the famous flick ‘Cinema Paradiso’, and most of them termed it an entertainer of the top order. A section of the film lovers, who have flocked to the city for the festival, made it a point to be seated at the venue much before the film started rolling.