Soumitra Chatterjee, although best known for his films, was also a poet theatre practitioner and a lifelong Marxist. His commitment to politics, and to an idea of India that that politics envisioned, are to be celebrated emphatically in times when art’s conjunction with politics, protest or dissent is increasingly incarcerated.
This three part conversation between film director and actor Aparna Sen and theatre and film scholar Samik Bandyopadhyay, moderated by Githa Hariharan, writer and co-founder fo the Indian Cultural Forum, brings into light the many aspects of Soumitra Chatterjee’s life: his milieu, politics and his legacy. In Part I Aparna Sen speaks about her journey with Soumitra Chatterjee- as a fan, co-actor, then director; his grasp over language and ability to manipulate it; and Samik Bandyopadhyay discusses his theatre practice. Part II is about the political and historical events that Soumitra Chatterjee came out of, how they influenced his career and political impulses. Part III concludes with the legacy of Soumitra Chatterjee— what value systems he espoused that we must look up to and carry forward.