Reel life and Tagore's poetry

Thirteen short films based on Rabindranath Tagore’s poems will be screened over three days at Matunga’s Ramnarain Ruia College starting today. The short films, all made by National Film Award winning director Buddhadeb Dasgupta, explore the main themes of the celebrated bard’s poetry.

Tagore won the Nobel Prize for his collection of poems Gitanjali in 1913. He was the first non-European to win the award in Literature and even today, his poems remain one of the most inspirational works to emerge from Asia. Although Tagore wrote in a Sanskritised version of Bengali, which is difficult to follow even for Bengali speakers, language isn’t a barrier in short films. “Music plays a very important role in all these films, and since there are minimum dialogues, language won’t be a problem,” says Shamali Bose, BMM head, Ramnarain Ruia College.

A still from Banshiwala (The Flautist)

Each film is between 20 and 40 minutes long, and the entire collection was commissioned by the Government of India to mark the 160th birth anniversary of the Bengali poet. Each film looks into one separate poem of Tagore, and has been screened all over the world. But the short film festival is not only about the film being screened; the filmmaker will attend each show, and later, conduct poetry readings as well as discussions with the audience. “The films present a unique opportunity to understand Tagore’s poetry and at the same time, understand how the filmmaker (Dasgupta) was able to translate these into celluloid form,” adds Bose.

Rabindranath Tagore

On view
The Flautist (30 min)
The Pond (28 min)
The Dark Maiden (28 min)
The Station (28 min)
The Flute (30 min)
The Freedom (28 min)
Deception (27 min)
A Village (26 min)
Camellia (27 min)
The Last Letter (27 min)
The Unexpected Meeting (30 min)
The Letters (28 min)
The Mansion (29 min) 

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