National award-winning filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta dies at 77
National award winning filmmaker and celebrated poet Buddhadeb Dasgupta died at his Kolkata residence after a prolonged illness on Thursday, family members said. He was 77.
Dasgupta was suffering from kidney-related ailments and was undergoing dialysis. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and governor Jagdeep Dhankhar expressed their condolences.
“Buddhadeb Dasgupta enriched our arts and culture with his world-renowned films as well as poetry – both animated by a heartfelt lyricism. In his passing away, we have lost an extraordinary artist. My condolences to the bereaved family,” Kovind tweeted.
“Anguished by the demise of Shri Buddhadeb Dasgupta. His diverse works struck a chord with all sections of society. He was also an eminent thinker and poet. My thoughts are with his family and several admirers in this time of grief. Om Shanti,” the PM tweeted.
Extending her condolences, Banerjee tweeted, “Saddened at the passing away of eminent filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta. Through his works, he infused lyricism into the language of cinema. His death comes as a great loss for the film fraternity. Condolences to his family, colleagues and admirers.”
The veteran director’s family members said the last rites were performed at Keoratala cremation ground in south Kolkata. His daughters could not come from Mumbai.
In his illustrious career, the filmmaker received several national and international recognitions for his work. Some of the notable films by Dasgupta include Tahader Katha, Bagh Bahadur, Charachar and Uttara.
He also directed Hindi films such as Andhi Gali and Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa.
He received the National Film Award in several categories including best film, best direction, best screenplay and best feature film in Bengali for his work. He also received international awards at the Venice Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Asia Pacific Film Festival and Bangkok International Film Festival among others.
“Recipient of numerous National and International honours, legendary filmmaker and renowned poet, #BuddhadebDasgupta has passed away. Sincere condolences to his family and friends (sic),” tweeted Raj Chakraborty, filmmaker and Trinamool Congress legislator.
Eminent filmmaker Goutam Ghose recalled his long friendship with Dasgupta. He said, “It was a friendship of 50 years. We had dreamt together so many things. I can’t even think that he is no more. I hope that his films are preserved and the new generations could learn more about him.”
Born in 1944 in Purulia district, Dasgupta began his career as a lecturer in a college before taking a plunge into filmmaking in the 70s, after having enrolled as a member of the Calcutta Film Society.
Some of his earlier films like Grihajuddha and Andhi Gali focused on the Naxalite movement in Bengal and how it shaped the collective consciousness of Bengalis.
“I felt a void when I got the news. Even though he was suffering for long, he was still there amongst us. When protests were going on against the withdrawal of my film Bhobishyoter Bhoot he came and joined the protest march. He also watched the film. I was really moved by his film Duratta and Grihajuddha, which were political thrillers,” said Anik Dutta, film director.
Actor Kharaj Mukherjee called Dasgupta’s demise an unparalleled loss for the industry. “I could only work in one of his films. He had asked me to dub a few lines. I had requested him so that I could work with him in one of his films. It is an unparalleled loss for the industry,” he said.