Vidyarthy Chatterjee

Obstinate Memories

Marxists have come to power not always by the bullet; given the historical, political and social circumstances that they had to contend with, Lenin, Mao, Ho or Fidel had no…

Daughter of Two Bengals

Debiprosad Ghosh, the distinguished but undeservedly neglected Calcutta film scholar and historian, has painstakingly researched the life, times and achievements of an important but forgotten Bengali actress. The beautiful and…

Between Marx and Christ

This essay is dedicated to the example of Father Stan Swamy, S. J. Briefly and simply put, Liberation Theology is a school of thinking which proclaims that methods of direct…

Film& Family-Making The Face

From the life and times of the State executioner, Nata Mullick (which was the subject of an earlier documentary, One Day From A Hangman’s Life), the Calcutta-based Films Division filmmaker,…

Strangers In Their Own Home

The 24th edition of the Kolkata international film festival, held in November 2018, showed a surprisingly large number of films from Australia, which has never been counted among the foremost…

Parents and Progeny

In my personal calendar of gains and losses, September is a craven, cowardly month. It robbed me, born the same month, of my two closest relatives. I don’t expect everybody…

Mira Nair As A Documentarist

Some time ago, another edition of International Women’s Day was observed with the right amount of feistiness. Among other things, women-related films were screened and discussed in some places in…

Trainloads of Stories

In the days of my early manhood, a south Calcutta theatre called Menoka used to show Malayalam or Tamil films on Sunday mornings. Since the early years of the 20th…

Sivakasi, An Unlimited scourge

 Sivakasi is a curse, a blight, an abomination that India could do without. Here, workers, especially children, are routinely killed or scarred for life in fires and explosions while making…

Philosophers Of Patience

            Fifty two years ago, on 20th August, Russian tanks moved into Prague to suppress what has passed into history as the ‘Spring of 1968’ when artists, intellectuals, public personalities…

Remembering Kamlabai

Not everyone with a family is destined to enjoy all the fruits that the family has to offer. Let us take the case of Kamlabai Raghunath Gokhale, or simply Kamlabai,…

A Nun’s story

One of the most widely-known and deeply-admired of all Indian nuns who gave up the habit after receiving the call of liberation theology, is a daughter of Kerala who goes…

Thank God For The Commune!

The first edition of what began as the Bombay International Film Festival for Documentary & Short Films (there was no mention of animation in the naming then) was held between…

Makhan Singh, Who?

            In 2006, I had an opportunity to visit  Zanzibar, a fabled island in the Indian Ocean with which India has had commercial and cultural relations for hundreds of years.…

Breaking the labouring back

The death of Jacques Chirac marked the physical disappearance of, arguably, the most intriguing French president of the past three decades or so. Chirac was conservative in his politics; an…

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