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Creative Artist Of India review: Revelatory film that offers a peek into the fascinating mind of Satyajit Ray

/ 13min

Cinestaan Rating

  • Direction:
  • Music:

Sukhpreet Kahlon

A must-watch for fans of the auteur, the short documentary, based on an interview, highlights his colossal talent and legacy.

Produced and directed by film historian BD Garga, Creative Artist Of India offers a glimpse into the mind of auteur Satyajit Ray and attempts to understand his fascination with the cinematic arts and his filmmaking process.

We are introduced to Ray as an artist who came to filmmaking after making a career for himself in commercial art. His first film, Pather Panchali (1955), won him acclaim and widespread recognition. Thereafter, his films Aparajito (1956), Jalsaghar (1958), Apur Sansar (1959), Devi (1960), Teen Kanya (1961), Mahanagar (1963), Charulata (1964), Nayak (1966) and others consolidated his position as an auteur. 

The documentary attempts to understand why Ray made films and what cinema meant to him, the main subject of the film, which is just under 13 minutes long. We are taken behind the scenes where the shooting of one of his films, Mahanagar, is underway while Ray, as the narrator, reveals his thoughts, saying, “I make films for the love of it.” 

Garga captures a range of material that informs us about the phenomenal scope of Ray’s talent. From writing the story and dialogues to conceptualizing the scenes, editing, and even casting for the projects, Ray speaks about each of these areas with an infectious excitement, highlighting the sheer joy that each activity holds for him.

We are shown glimpses of powerful, iconic moments from his films and even the famed Ray diaries, which contain his sketches with a description of the scenes, the intricate details of the sketches, down to the patterns on the sarees, telling us about the precise vision of the filmmaker.

What really shines through in Garga’s film is the intellectual who has contemplated the art of cinema in great detail. As we hear him describe the fascination that cinema holds for him, we can only wonder at the colossal talent and legacy of the filmmaker. This is an absolute must-watch for Ray fans.

Creative Artist Of India was part of an online festival created by the Films Division, titled Masters’ Constellation, and held from 9–11 July 2021.

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