Bengali Cinema Facing Identity Crisis: Madhabi Mukherjee
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 22 nd edition 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.