The Quest, a film of Sikta Biswas, at Imagineindia Barcelona 2016

THE QUEST (Pather Sandhan)                                                                                     Sikta Biswas. 2016. India. 115 min.                                                                             Cast :  Shubhashis Mukherjee,  Sikta Biswas, Arun Chakraborty

Adapted from a story by Bibhutibhusan, the author of “Pather Panchali”, the film “PatherSandhan” (The Quest) is set in the rural Bengal of the 1950s. The story traces the journey of aphilanthropist school-teacher, Naran Master, who has devoted himself to nation-buildingexpecting nothing in return. He believes confined within the classroom, students can’t feelMother Nature; he thus insists that they keep their inner eye open. In his sole mission ofeducating students with values, Naran Master has to confront numerous hurdles of life. His sonbecomes a rouge, his daughter is tortured at her in-laws’ house, and the School Committeeconspires against him. Only a magistrate Mr. Kanwar truly understands Naran Master and isproud of him as a real teacher. To make life worse, his son flees from their village home, whichshatters Manorama, Naran Master’s wife. Later, a telegram informs him that his son is in jail fortheft, and after Naran Master manages to meet him there, the boy commits suicide. Unable tobring the news to his wife, Naran Master tells her that their son hasn’t returned because he is ingreat peace and happiness in his current condition. Meanwhile, the magistrate, Mr. Kanwarhappens to meet Naran Master and feels deeply sorry for his sufferings. He offers Naran Master aposition in a Govt. level education committee. But Naran Master shows no interest in that andreturns to his village. However, the devastated teacher is at once rejuvenated when the youngstudents call on him to tutor them. Oblivious of his present condition, Naran Master continues toeducate the poor village children