Homage to a Doyen of Bangla Cinema
Subhash Dutta’s 89th birth anniversary
Subhash Dutta is regarded as one of those few great filmmakers who established cinema as an eloquent medium of art after the emergence of Bangladesh. He was also an actor and cultural activist.
February 9 marked the 89th birth anniversary of the great personality.
The director of films such as 'Sutarang', 'Arunodoyer Agnishakhi' and 'Dumurer Phool', Dutta was awarded the Ekushey Padak, the highest award for civilians in the country, in 1999 for his contributions to the film industry.
Dutta is regarded as one of those few great filmmakers who dedicated themselves to establishing cinema as an eloquent medium of art in Bangladesh. He made a good number of films that immensely contributed to the making of the golden era of Bengali cinema. Dutta was born in Dinajpur on Feb 9, 1930. His professional life started working as a painter of film posters. He drew posters for first Bengali language movie - 'Mukh-o-Mukhush' He also worked in the film 'Matir Pahar' as the art director in the beginning of his career.
Dutta made his debut as an actor with Ehtesham and followed it up with 'E Desh Tomar Amar' and became an instant hit with the audience.
He directed his first movie in 1962 'Abirbhab'. Released in 1964, it earned rave reviews and won an award at the Frankfurt Festival. The film was sent to the Cambodian Film Festival in 1969 and won special appreciation from the Queen of the country.
He directed such popular films as Palabadal and Nouka, and acted in Rajdhanir Bukey, Harano Din and Talash.
Dutta also acted in theatres. He played a role in Aryannak Natyadal's first production 'Kobor' in 1972.
In an interview, he had said he was inspired into filmmaking by Satyajit Ray's 'Pather Panchali' in 1975. Later, some of Dutta's films were considered remarkable contributions to the film industry. His first film as director, 'Sutarang', based on a love story of two teenagers, was released in 1964. Mina Pal, now popularly known as Kobori, kicked off her career with that film.
Pakistani military had captured Dutta in Dhaka during the Independence War of 1971, but a Pakistan Army Captain released him after recognising him as a popular figure even in Pakistan, since he had also acted in some Urdu movies.
The man later created 'Arunodoyer Agnishakhhi', considered one of the best movies he created. 'Bashundhara', released in 1977 based on Alauddin Al Azad's famous novel, another of his creation, is still a gossip of today's filmmakers.
For any role, Dutta would study people of that profession or kind, and then create the character realistically. In his film 'Binimoy', he made Kobori play a dumb girl. He attended a school for the dumb to make the character convincing.
'Sutarang' was pitched in the Asian Film Festival of Frankfurt while 'Dumurer Phool' was screened at the Moscow Film Festival.
Subhash Dutta's other notable films are 'Aina-O-Abshisthha', 'Abirbhab', 'Alingon', 'Nuri', 'Sokal Sondhya'and 'Phoolsajya'. He also made some plays and telefilms for the television.
Apart from the Ekushey Padak, he also received many other awards including National Film Award for his contribution to the film industry.
The writer is a freelance contributor.