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THE INTERLOCUTOR OF SOCIETAL MALADIES
New Delhi, Jan. 11 -- Mrinal Sen was easily among India's earliest radical film-makers in an overt, political sense. But he had the misfortune of making films at the same time as the auteur Satyajit Ray did. His other great misfortune was that his first film-Raat Bhorey (1955)-was a mushy, sentimental film that sank without a trace even as Ray picked up accolades over his truly pathbreaking debut, Pather Panchali, in the same year. Ray would follow its success-Pather Panchali was given a special prize as "the best human document" at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956-with Aparajito (which Sen would later call Ray's greatest film) and Apur Sansar, firmly establishing his reputation as one of modern cinema's greats. Sen had to work longer and h...
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