Homage to Gita Sen

Films Selected at Imagineindia 2017

CALCUTTA 71 (Mrinal Sen) India

KHARIJ (Mrinal Sen) India

Gita Sen was born in a small suburb of Calcutta. She started acting at a very young age in political plays with some of the stalwarts of Indian theatre.  Gita started acting in films from the late 1940s. Her first film role was in a film called Dudhara, where she met the writer of the story, Mrinal Sen, and later married him in 1953. During this period she also acted in Nagarik, the first film made by her friend, Ritwik Ghatak. She dropped out of acting after her son was born in 1954 but resumed theatre acting again in 1966 with Utpal Dutt. She came back to film acting in Calcutta 71, a film made by her husband, Mrinal Sen. She continued to work in films until her last acting role in Mahaprithibi (1991), During this period some of her memorable roles were in films like Ek Din Pratidin, Akaler Sandhaney, Aarohan, Chalchitra, Khandhar, and Mahaprithibi. Even though her acting career was relatively limited in number of films and plays, she gained the respect of the audience and fellow actors through the depth of her emotional performance. Almost all of her roles were to portray lower middle class women, struggling to survive, and she portrayed them with unprecedented dignity and depth.

Text by Kunal Sen