Subarnarekha

India, 1965 (Ritwik Ghatak; 2h 23m)

Set in Calcutta, Subarnarekha is centred around a young man, Ishwar, who while living in a refugee camp offers a home to the orphaned Abhiram. Years later, Ishwar opposes the love that develops between his sister Sita and Abhiram.

This is the third part of Ritwik Ghatak’s partition trilogy, that began with Meghe Dhaka Tara, shown earlier in the Sostituto programme.

The Partition of Bengal looms large over the cinema of Ritwik Ghatak. In eight grave, ravishing films, made in an intermittent career that spanned the first three decades of Indian independence, he returned time and again to the calamitous event, which had deeply scarred him. Sometimes, as in his wayward masterpiece Subarnarekha (1962), he reckoned with the suffering unleashed on the refugees of Partition; in other movies he approached the subject more obliquely. Always he drenched his plots in old Bengali literary and mythic allusions, as well as the region’s classical and folk music, as if expressing a nostalgia for an undivided past.

Ratik Asokan, The New York Review of Books

One of the most intuitive, messy and haunting films ever made with the best drunk taxi ride in the history of cinema …

Ashim Ahluwalia, BFI
Date: June 24th, 2020
Time: 8:00pm
Finishes at: 10:25pm

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