Sep 13, 2017

17th Sept'2017; ANTARJALI YATRA - The Voyage Beyond A film by Goutam Ghose


ANTARJALI YATRA - The Voyage Beyond

 A film by Goutam Ghose
1989/ Bengal/ 140 min
17th Sept / 5.45pm/ Perks Mini Theater

Antarjali Yatra is a stunning and beautifully picturised drama happening around the cremation ground of a Bengali village on the muddy banks of the river Ganga. It traces the journey of a young maiden who, to save the graces of the family, was married off to an extremely old man on his deathbed, and how, she finds a company in a 'dom' - a man responsible for cremating at the burning ghats. 
She is expected to practice the ancient Hindu ritual known as SATI in which the widow throws herself on the burning funeral pyre of her late husband.  Wife who commits Sati was worshiped as a goddess during those days. Antarjali Yatra is set in the Bengal of 19th century, times of great social turbulence and breaking up of old traditions. 
In this remarkable film nothing happens as you expect and things go berserk. From the beginning , a painted eye on a boat moored near the burial ground watches the  absurd drama unfolding on that river bank.  There are three main characters- the young bride, the dying old man  and  the cremator of that ghat. Shatrugan Sinha gives his stellar performance as the drunk untouchable cremator  entrusted with the last cremation rites who is against the practice of Sati. 
The film is rife with long shots, and the cinematography is mesmerizing - the frames sometimes bring out the bare truth along the muddy banks of Ganga, and sometimes they have this brooding, lingering feel.  Director Gautam Ghose is also the cinematographer and music director of this film. Film is  based on a novel, Mahayatra by by Kamal Kumar Mazumdar. 

Goutam Ghose

Goutam Ghose was born on 24th July,-1950 in Kolkata. He did his primary education from the St. John Diocesan School and later joined Cathedral Missionary Boys for higher studies.He made his directional debut with his biopic film New Earth in 1973. Later, he made his cinema debut from the film MaaBhoomi in 1979. His Film Paar with Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi was based on the Bengali story Paathi. He made his acting debut from the film Grihajuddha in 1982 and later he acted in a Gayak in 1987, BaisheSrabon in 2011, Ekla Akash in 2012, Chotushkone in 2014.
He was among the few whose films were awarded Best Cinematography, Best Direction and Best Screenplay awards at the National Film Awards ceremony. Including the awards and citations received for Antanjali Yatra , he has won 16 National Awards and many international awards like the Silver Balloon Award, the Nantes Film Festival, the UNESCO Award, the Cannes Film Festival, the Grand Prix-Golden Semurg at Tashkent,[4] the Fipresci Awards and Red Cross Award.

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