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Memory-maker Buddhadeb Dasgupta passes away at 77

Memory-maker Buddhadeb Dasgupta passes away at 77
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Kolkata: Eminent film director Buddhadeb Dasgupta, who had been battling kidney ailments for quite some time, died at his residence here early on Thursday following a cardiac arrest, family members said. He was 77.

The national award-winning director is survived by his wife, and two daughters from a previous marriage.

Extending her condolences to the ace director's friends and family, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: "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."

Dasgupta was found motionless by his wife, Sohini, at his residence in Kalikapur at 6 am, according to the family members. He suffered cardiac arrest in his sleep, they added.

Mourning his demise, filmmaker Goutam Ghosh said: "Buddha da continued to make films, write articles and stay active, despite his failing health. He had directed Tope and Urojahaz even when he was unwell. It is a great loss for all of us."

Actor-director Aparna Sen said Dasgupta's films were "soaked in surrealism".

"I am fortunate to have worked with him. The actors and technicians had respected him for his sincerity and meticulousness," recollected actor Prosenjit Chatterjee.

Srijit Mukherji and Deepti Naval, remembered the celebrated filmmaker as a "sensitive poet" and "God of cinema".

Mukherji said Dasgupta's films, which boast of impeccable storytelling, have shaped up his cinema memory.

"Even his last film Urojahaj bore the stamp of his class and poetry in every frame. Goodbye, Memory-maker."

Actor Paoli Dam, who worked with him in two episodes of a Doordarshan show in 2008 and Tope, said Dasgupta's films were a lesson on "filmmaking, philosophy, life and perspective".

Born in 1944 in Purulia, Dasgupta graduated in Economics from Scottish Church College and later obtained a post graduate degree in Economics from Calcutta University. He taught Economics in different colleges before taking a plunge into filmmaking in the 70s, after having enrolled his name as a member of Calcutta Film Society.

He made his first feature film Dooratwa in 1978, leaving his mark as a poet-lyricist-director.

Prior to that, he had made a short Samayer Kache.

Of all films he wrote or directed, five got national awards for the best feature film. These are Bagh Bahadur (1989), Charachar (1993), Lal Darja (1997), Mondo Meyer Upakhyan (2002) and Kalpurush (2008). As a director, he won the national film award for being the best director twice. He had also directed Hindi films Andhi Gali and Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa.

He got the lifetime achievement award at the Spain International Film Festival and the golden award at Athens International Film Festival. He won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his condolences on Twitter. "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," the Prime Minister wrote.

President Ramnath Kovind in his eulogy on social media wrote: "Buddhadeb Dasgupta enriched our arts and culture with his world-renowned films as well as poetry – both animated by a heartfelt lyricism. In his passing away, we have lost an extraordinary artist. My condolences to the bereaved family."

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