Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh dead

Last Updated 30 May 2013, 22:41 IST

Acclaimed filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, who charted a new route for the Bengali cinema with his thought-provoking films and captured the imagination of the audience with movies like “Chitrangada”, died here on Thursday following a cardiac arrest. He was 49.

Ghosh, winner of 12 national and some international awards,  was suffering from pancreatitis. He died at 7:30 am, his family said.

A team of Kolkata Police accorded gun salute to the filmmaker whose mortal remains were consigned to flames at Siriti crematorium on Thursday night in the presence of a host of film personalities and people from all walks of life.

Among those present from the Tollywood film fraternity were young filmmakers Tridip Mukherjee, Raj Chakravarty, Pirsha Dasgupta and actors Parambrata Chatterjee and Sanjoy Nath who paid tearful farewell to the erudite director.

Earlier, his body was brought from the technician studio at Nandan to the Siriti crematorium for performing the last rites.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led a host of prominent personalities including those from the film fraternity in condoling the death of Ghosh.

Ghosh began his remarkable journey by directing a children’s film “Hirer Angti” (“Diamond Ring”) in 1994, which won him an immediate recognition. He shot to fame after his next film “Unishe April” (“19 April”) won the national award in 1995.
His other award-winning films include “Dahan”, “Asukh”, “Chokher Bali”, “Raincoat”, “Bariwali”, “Antarmahal”, “Noukadubi”, “Abohoman”, “Chitrangada” and Amitabh Bachchan starrer “The Last Lear”.

As an actor, through his pathbreaking role of a transgender in “Chitrangada”, Rituparno portrayed the plight of a section of people which had remained neglected in society.

Same sex relations, a taboo in Bengali society although accepted in the West, was for the first time revealed through his life and work.

As news of his death spread, a pall of gloom descended on the world of arts here and elsewhere.  Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee while mourning Ghosh’s untimely death said: “I cannot believe that Rituparno is no more. It is very difficult to accept this news. The void left by his death cannot be easily filled.”

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: “We are stunned. In his sudden demise, Bengal has lost an eminent filmmaker. It is a very sad day for us.” Education Minister and theatre personality Bratya Basu said he was “speechless”.

Basu said he was a pioneer not only as a director and actor, but also in his contribution to society. He said Ghosh’s movies like “Heerer Angti” and “Unishe April” Rituparno had created a new genre of films in Bengal.

(Published 30 May 2013, 22:41 IST)

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