Shyam Benegal

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Shyam Benegal
Shyam Benegal is one of the most prolific contemporary filmmakers from India's 'New Cinema'. From his first film Ankur (1974) to Zubeidaa (2000), he has explored the contradictions and tensions of a society in rapid transition, with a unique focus on the female protagonist. Sangeeta Datta's book traces his career with its beginnings in political cinema as a realist aesthetic. It shows how the struggles of the dispossessed and marginalized in Indian society find expression in films as diverse as Nishant, Bhumika, Mandi, Suraj Ka Satwan Ghoda and Kalyug. It traces Benegal's work with some of the biggest names in Indian cinema - Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Govind Nihalani and, more recently, Karishma Kapoor and A.R. Rahman - developing a style and ethos that is uniquely his. It also explains how the director's work presents both a stark contrast to Bollywood and yet contains creative continuities with commercial cinema and his distinguished predecessor, Satyajit Ray. Perhaps no other director has come close to painting such a compelling and vivid portrait of modern India.
About the Author
Sangeeta Datta is a film historian, lecturer, critic and documentary filmmaker. She runs a London-based film society, 'In Focus', which promotes South Asian Cinema in the UK. A member of FIPRESCI International, she has worked with Indian filmmakers Basu Bhattacharya and Rituparno Ghosh. She has also worked closely with the National Film Theatre, promoting Indian film programmes in London, the latest being 'A Tribute to Shyam Benegal'in 2002. Datta undertook a post-doctoral project on Indian cinema at the University of Sussex. She holds a PhD in English from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, and has taught English and film Studies at St Xavier's College, Mumbai. A frequent cultural commentator for the Indian and British media, Datta lives in London with her husband and two sons. Her film The Way I See It (on Indian women filmmakers) has been screened in film festivals across the world and is also part of the curriculum for Film Studies.
TitleShyam Benegal
Author NameSangeeta Dutta
PublisherRoli Books Pvt. Ltd.
Publication Year2003
Total No. of Pages276
Weight0.38 KGS
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  • Language: English
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