Meghe Dhaka Tara

Ritwik Ghatak

T. it: La stella nascosta. T. int.: The Cloud- Capped Star. Sog.: da un racconto di Shaktipada Rajguru. Scen.: Ritwik Ghatak. F.: Dinen Gupta. Mo.: Ramesh Joshi. Mu.: Jyotirindra Maitra. Int.: Supriya Chowdhury (Nita), Anil Chatterjee (Shankar), Bijan Bhattacharya (Taran, il padre), Gita Dey (la madre), Gita Ghatak (Gita), Dwiju Bhawal (Mantu, il fratello), Niranjan Roy (Sanat). Prod.: Chitrakalpa. Pri. pro.: 14 aprile 1960 DCP. D.: 126’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

The language of film is universal and deeply national all at once. That is to say that these two dimensions must be made one by drawing on the symbols and arche­types of our country. [...] It is the reason why, yes, I am obviously inspired by a few foreign models. The great masters should be stolen from, what is universal as well. A certain amount of assimilation, another of synthesis, that's what this search is made of. We tried to create a movement. But we were just individuals, like many solitary birds. At the time, the country's situation made any unified movement impossible. I felt things in my own way; everyone else in theirs, and nevertheless there was al­ways this one, common search.
Every artist has the duty to preserve his capacity to be surprised, to be internally vigilant and eternally virgin. Without this ability, it will be impossible for him to achieve great things. The subtle secret concealed in every act of creation basi­cally consists in pausing to observe every single thing, in capturing it in a silent wonder, in being enchanted by a passing object, or giving in to pleasure's totality, and then after a long time, once the calm has returned, in uprooting this intimate feeling from within one's own spirit, giv­ing it form, and breathing life into it. In one way or another, every artist manages to carry his childhood with him, keeps it in his pocket into adulthood. If it eludes him, he is nothing more than a fogey; he ceases to be an artist and becomes a theorist. Childhood is an extremely frag­ile state of mind, a state of folding in on oneself, like those wild yet delicate plants that wither at the slightest touch. Child­hood crumbles, withers and loses its en­ergy with the crude touch of the everyday.
Every artist has had this experience.
(Ritwik Ghatak)

Add the oblique lines, trees, river banks, the train, which seem to lose their balance due to the tension between empty and full. Add the song, its surges, its subtle plains, its falls and sudden rises, the train noise that cuts through it, dividing and accelerating the rhythm. Add Shankar's spasmodic gestures. The slow variation of Nita's movements. Then you have an im­age in which, in three very simple shots, Ghatak creates a modulation fed by colli­sions and conflicts, here still contained, and a formal imbalance in every moment, like an echo of the historical and personal imbalance that creates the melodramatic backdrop to all his films: the partition of Bengal.
(Raymond Bellour)



The restoration was carried out by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata lm laboratory in 2012. It was based on the original camera negatives, original sound negative and a combined dupe positive coming from the National Film Archive of India.