Akaler Shandhaney

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Akaler Shandhaney  (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”!  
Language Bengali (1980, Colour)
Producer D. K. Films
Story Amalendu Chakraborty
Camera K. K. Mahajan
Music Salil Chowdhury
Cast Dhritiman Chatterjee
Smita Patil
Gita Sen
Rajen Tarafdar
Sreela Mazumder
Radhamohan Bhattachariya
Jayanta Chowdhury
Dipankar De
Jochhan Dastidar
Awards 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 - Silver Bear


akal2j.jpg (27139 bytes) A film-within-a-film, Smita Patil is played the role of an actress who  played the role of a villager during the 1943 famine
Rajen Tarafdar is better known as an important film director akal3j.jpg (30587 bytes)
akal4j.jpg (30604 bytes) Smita Patil
Dhritiman Chatterjee, playing the role of the film-director, with Rajen Tarafdar akal5j.jpg (35424 bytes)
akal6j.jpg (40617 bytes) Sreela Mazumdar
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 akal12j.jpg (70580 bytes)
akal8j.jpg (34028 bytes) Mrinal Sen directing Smita Patil
Mrinal sen explaining a scene to Gita sen akal9j.jpg (36112 bytes)
akal10j.jpg (44123 bytes) 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