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IFFI: Subhrajit Mitra speaks of the narrative of journey within journey in Avijatrik

Avijatrik focuses on the sublime bond between Apu and his son Kajal, who lost his mother at birth.

Photo: Courtesy PIB

Roushni Sarkar

Subhrajit Mitra’s upcoming film Avijatrik, a follow-up to Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy, was recently screened at the 51st edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa on 21 January.

While Mitra is excited to bring Apu back to the silver screen after 60 years on the birth centenary of the great filmmaker, he said, “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.”

Speaking about the film at a press conference held on 22 January, Mitra said, “This film is all about a journey — a journey outside and a journey within.” Starring Arjun Chakraborty, Avijatrik takes off from Apur Sansar (1959), where the Apu Trilogy ended and is based on the final section of Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay’s novel Aparajito.

Avijatrik focuses on the sublime bond between Apu and his son Kajal, who lost his mother at birth. Apu relives his childhood through Kajal before finally bidding farewell to his village and motherland to embark upon on a soul-stirring journey with his son and friend Shankar.

According to Mitra, the most difficult part of shooting the black and white film was recreating the period of 1940s. “The production design team recreated the Benaras of 1940s, based on shots taken in today’s city. In a particular sequence, the Howrah Bridge was also shown to be under construction," said the director.

Also, it was important for the director to recreate the same imagery and visuals of the Apu trilogy. “This film is based in the 1940s. Whenever we think of any pre-independent era picture, our mind sees it in black and white. It’s in our mind, it’s in our psyche,” commented Mitra, who is certain that if good content is delivered within budget constraints, audiences are bound to return to theatres.

Avijatrik was also recently screened at the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival.

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