Bright Sun, Brighter Star

NFDC, the National Film Development Corporation of India is the central agency established to encourage the good cinema movement in the country. The primary goal of the NFDC is to plan, promote and organize an integrated and efficient development of the Indian film industry and foster excellence in cinema. Over the years NFDC has provided a wide range of services essential to the growth of Indian cinema. The NFDC (and its predecessor the Film Finance Corporation) has so far funded / produced over 300 films. These films, in various Indian languages, have been widely acclaimed and have won many national and international awards.

A treat from the NFDC- another bonus of the Tagore Sesquicentennial- is a boxed DVD collection of 6 movies and a documentary, Tagore Stories on Film.

The documentary on Tagore is by Satyajit Ray.  Made in 1961, in English, this nearly hour long film in black and white is an early Ray masterpiece.  Satyajit Ray was a lifetime admirer of the man Tagore, his works and vision. He not only made films from five of Tagore's stories, but also took upon the task to make this dramatized documentary on the life of the poet-laureate. Made in 1961, the same year in which Ray made Teen Kanya from three of Tagore's stories, this was made to celebrate Tagore's birth centenary. Conscious that he was making an official portrait of India's celebrated poet, Ray refrains from touching upon the controversies in Tagore's life. However lovers of cinema will see the deft cinematic touches of a master filmmaker that sets it apart from most biographical documentaries in the world. The dramatized sequences in the film of the young Tagore are moving and lyrical, befitting the biography of one the most progressive man ever.

Nearly 100 films owe their inspiration to the work of Tagore, and most of these have been in Bangla. And this does not include movies where  Rabindra Sangeet has played an integral part: in many cases, his songs and even poems have inspired complete films.

A bonus in this six-pack is a film of  Tagore's  Natir Puja - an adaptation of his poem Pujarini, which the poet had staged in 1927. This was the only time that Tagore was so closely associated with cinema with the screenplay being written under his guidance by nephew Dinendranath 'Dinu' Tagore and the master composing the background music, with students of Santiniketan acting in the film. Tagore not only directed this dance-drama shot over four days, but also played an important role in the film. Though the film in its entirety has been lost, a portion has been found and restored.

The  films in the set are 

Disc 1 - Khudito Pashan (Runtime: 106 min)
Disc 2 - Teen Kanya (Runtime: 161 min)
Disc 3 - Kabuliwala (Runtime: 140 min)
Disc 4 - Ghare Baire (Runtime: 138 min)
Disc 5 - Char Adhyay (Runtime: 110 min)
Disc 6 - Natir Puja (Runtime: 20 min),  Satyajit Ray's Rabindranath Tagore (Runtime: 52 min)

In our Documentaries sectiom, Rs 399 plus shipping. Tagore Stories on Film