Print edition : October 18, 2013

Satyajit Ray (right) and Mrinal Sen in 1991. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Ritwik Ghatak. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

From "Pather Panchali", directed by Satyajit Ray. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

From "Subarnarekha", one of Ritwik Ghatak's masterpieces.

From "Meghe Dhaka Tara" by Ritwik Ghatak.

Uttam Kumar, an icon of Bengali cinema for an entire generation of cinema-goers, seen here in "Sathihara" (1961). Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Bengal happened to produce a highly successful set of popular conventions, most importantly a form of bourgeois melodrama that became commonly identified with the stars Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen. This cinema embodied an affective response to post-colonial modernisation, sometimes touching deeply on the formation of the new citizen in a vernacular context.

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