Mrinal Sen, who has won multiple National Film awards, and who was known for his artistic depiction of social reality passed away today, December 30, 2018, at his south Kolkata residence. He was suffering from ailments related to old age. He was 95.
He died after suffering a heart attack at his residence in Bhowanipore area of the city. He is survived by his son Kunal Sen. His wife, actor Geeta Sen, passed away last year.
According to the filmmaker’s family physician, the body will be kept at a mortuary in the city until his son Kunal and daughter-in-law return from the US on January 01, 2019. The last rites are likely to be performed on January 02, 2019.
He was the recipient of various national and international awards, including the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 2003.
Soumitra Chatterjee, who had worked with him, described Mrinal Sen’s death as the fall of a titan and stated that he was the last of the directors to usher in the golden era in Bengali cinema.
Mrinal Sen was heavily influenced by parallel cinema and introduced a new kind of film-making with his unusual camera movement, non-linear narrative, discontinuities and freeze frames, something that Indian cinema had never witnessed before him.
A career spanning over six decades (1956-2002), Mrinal Sen made 27 full-length feature films, 14 short films and four documentaries. Sen made his directorial debut with Raat Bhore in 1955, while his last film was Aamar Bhuvan in 2002.
His second film, Neel Akasher Neechey, earned him local recognition, while his third film, Baishey Shraban gave him international exposure.
Born May 14, 1923, in Faridpur in Bangladesh, Mrinal Sen left for Kolkata to study Physics. His interest in cinema started after he stumbled on a book on film aesthetics titled Film As Art by Rudolf Arnheim.
Mrinal Sen, along with his contemporaries Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, was considered one of the most respected regional as well as parallel cinema filmmaker.