Noted Bengali filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta passed away in his Kolkata residence yesterday. He was 77, and was suffering from kidney-related issues. He is survived by his wife Sohini Dasgupta, also a filmmaker, and two daughters.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her condolences on his death.
"Saddened at the passing away of eminent filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta. Through his works, he infused lyricism into the language of cinema. His death comes as a great loss for the film fraternity. Condolences to his family, colleagues and admirers," Banerjee said on Twitter.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish at the death of the director, and noted that his diverse works struck a chord with all sections of society.
Modi tweeted, "Anguished by the demise of Shri Buddhadeb Dasgupta. His diverse works struck a chord with all sections of society. He was also an eminent thinker and poet. My thoughts are with his family and several admirers in this time of grief. Om Shanti!."
Dasgupta was born on February 11, 1944, in Purulia of West Bengal. He moved to Kolkata when he was just 12 years old, and was sent to study in Kolkata when he was a teenager. He studied in a school in Howrah district. Dasgupta studied economics at Scottish Church College. He was the third child amongst his nine siblings. His mother was from Dhaka, and his maternal grandfather a registrar at Dhaka University.
Dasgupta started his career with a documentary in 1968, "The Continent of Love". His first film was "Dooratwa", made in 1978. Some of his most renowned films are "Neem Annapurna" (1979), "Grihajuddha" (1982), "Andhi Gali" (1984), "Bagh Bahadur" (1989), "Tahader Katha" (1992), "Charachar" (1993), "Lal Darja" (1997), "Mondo Meyer Upakhyan" (2002), "Swapner Din" (2004), "Kaalpurush" (2008) and "Janala" (2009). "Urojahaj" is his last film, made in 2018.
He received accolades in the country and abroad for directing films. He won National Film Awards for movies such as "Kaalpurush", "Lal Darja", "Charachar" and "Bagh Bahadur". He also awarded at the Madrid International Film Festival and Athens International Film Festival. He also taught at The University of Burdwan in India. Artistes from Bangladesh also condoled his death.
Noted actor Champa worked with the director in the film, "Lal Darja". Dasgupta was impressed after seeing Champa's work at a festival in Delhi. He called her afterwards to approach her for a role in his film. "He was one of the wisest directors I ever met," said Champa. "I feel very lucky that I had the opportunity to learn so much for him. 'Lal Darja' is one of the best films of my career. It helped me to see myself as an actor in a new light."
"I got acquainted with Buddhadeb Dasgupta at the audio release of Basu Chatterjee's film, 'Chupi Chupi'. He was an extraordinary filmmaker, and his work is meant for an international audience," shares actor Ferdous.
A famous poet, Dasgupta's published works of poetry include "Suitcase", "Himjog", "Govir Araley", "Coffin Kimba", "Chhaata Kahini", "Roboter Gaan", "Sreshtha Kabita", and "Bhomboler Ascharya Kahini O Ananya Kabita".
"Buddhadeb Dasgupta was a delightful poet and director," shares Chanchal Chowdhury. "He was much like a banyan tree for Bengali films, and now, we are no longer under his shadow. We have lost many legends in the last few months. Even though Buddhadeb Dasgupta is no longer with us, his work will continue to inspire generations of artistes."
"I have many fond memories with Buddhadeb dada", shared noted actor Rosy Siddiqui. "I recorded the audio for the character of Anashua in his film 'Tahader Katha'. He was very pleased with my work. The last time he was in Dhaka, he complained that I never go to his house. I planned to visit him in Kolkata again. It is hard to believe that he is no more with us."