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For the first time in Europe Imagineindia 2016 will hold a retrospective of the bengali actress Suchitra Sen paying this way homage to this great actress.
Suchitra Sen was an Indian film actress who worked in Bengali and Hindi cinema. The movies in which she was paired opposite Uttam Kumar became classics in the history of Bengali Cinema.
Suchitra Sen was the first Bengali actress to receive an award at an international film festival when, at the 1963 Moscow International Film Festival, she won the Silver Prize for Best Actress for Saat Paake Bandha. In 1972, she was awarded the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards in India. From 1979 on, she retreated from public life and shunned all forms of public contact; for this she is often compared to Greta Garbo. In 2005, she refused the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest cinematic award in India, to stay out of the public eye. In 2012, she was conferred the West Bengal Government’s highest honour: Banga Bibhushan.
Suchitra Sen was born in Greater Pabna in the present day Pabna District of Bangladesh, on 6 April 1931. Her father Late Karunamoy Dasgupta was the headmaster of the local school, and her mother Late Indira Devi was a homemaker. She was their fifth child and third daughter. Ms Sen is a Grand Daughter of Famous Poet Sree Rajonikant Sen. She received her formal education in Pabna. Partition brought her family and her to West Bengal.
Sen had made a successful entry into Bengali films in 1952, and then a less successful transition into the Hindi movie industry. According to persistent but unconfirmed reports in the Bengali press, her marriage was strained by her success in the film industry .
Suchitra Sen made her debut in films with Shesh Kothaay in 1952, but it was never released. The following year saw her act opposite Uttam Kumar in Sharey Chuattor, a film by Nirmal Dey. It was a box-office hit and is remembered for launching Uttam-Suchitra as a leading pair. They went on to become the icons for Bengali dramas for more than 20 years, becoming almost a genre unto themselves. She has acted in 30 of her 60 films with Uttam Kumar. She received a Best Actress Award nomination for the film Devdas (1955), which was her first Hindi movie.
Her Bengali melodramas and romances, especially with Uttam Kumar, made her the most famous Bengali actress ever. Her pairing with Bengal’s King of Hearts Uttam Kumar created classic romantic hits :
Agnipariksha, Harano Sur, Saptapadi, Pathey Holo Deri, Kamal Lata, Indrani, Sabar Upore, Suryatoran, Shaare Chuattor, Sadanander Mela, Jiban Trishna, Ekti Raat, Chaawa Paawa, Shapmochan, Bipasha, Naborag, Trijama, Rajlakshmi Srikanto, Har Mana Har, Alo Amar Alo, Ora Thakey Odhare, Grihaprabesh and others, that have enjoyed ageless popularity and are watched, loved and admired even to this day.
The skyrocketing popularity of this romantic pair created a benchmark that remains unchallenged to this day. No other romantic pair in Bengali cinema in the subsequent decades have been able to match up to the magic created by Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar.