Friday, April 13, 2007
"Rabindranath Tagore" by Satyajit Ray
"On the 7th of August, 1941, in the city of Calcutta, a man died. His mortal remains perished. But he left behind him a heritage, which no fire could consume. It is a heritage of words, and music, and poetry, of ideas, and of ideals. And it has the power to move us, to inspire us, today, and in the days to come."
Thanks to a visit by Holden Caulfield, I was delighted to discover the documentary on Rabindranath Tagore by Satyajit Ray available on YouTube. I have been wanting to see this for years.
In 1961, on the insistence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Ray was commissioned to make a documentary on Rabindranath Tagore, on the occasion of the poet's birth centennial, a tribute to the person who probably influenced Ray most. Due to limited real footage of Tagore available, Ray faced the challenge of making a film out of mainly static material, and he remarked that it took as much work as three feature films.
The script, commentary and direction are by Satyajit Ray. Ray had observed that “Ten or twelve minutes of it are among the most moving and powerful things that I have produced”.