The Department of English and the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre (AJK MCRC), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) organized a screening of the new Bengali feature film Mahishashur Mardini (A Night to Remember, Ranjan Ghosh, 2022) at the James Beveridge Media Resource Centre (JB MRC) of the AJKMCRC on September 28, 2022. The screening was followed by an extensive conversation about the film and its making with Ranjan Ghosh (Screenwriter- Director), Rituparna Sengupta (the leading actress), Shantanu Ray Chaudhury (Film Critic & Publisher) and the students and teachers of the English Department and the AJK MCRC.
Rituparna Sengupta is one of the country’s leading actresses whose important body of work includes films by Aparna Sen, Rituparno Ghosh, Buddhadev Dasgupta, Tarun Majumdar, Aniruddha Ray Chaudhury and Srijit Mukherjee. In 1998, she won the National Award for Rituparno Ghosh’s much acclaimed Dahan (Cross-Fire, 1997). She is known for her support to younger and newer filmmakers who are attempting to experiment with form and content.
Ranjan Ghosh made his debut in 2014 with Hrid Majhare (Live in My Heart) followed by Ronberonger Korhi (Colours of Money, 2018) and Aha Re (2019). Presented and structured like Act in a play, Mahishashur Mardini uses the devices of proscenium theatre to debate and reflect on violence against women and the consequences of patriarchy where discrimination begins when the child is not even born. Ranjan Ghosh said his film is akin to a nightmare which comes to an end, as it were, when morning breaks and brings with it hopes of an inclusive world no longer driven by the divides of gender, caste, class, community or religion.
Students participated enthusiastically in a discussion that lasted for almost two hours. The teachers and students expressed their deep appreciation for the stimulating conversation and the time that Ranjan Ghosh and Rituparna Sengupta spent discussing the film and sharing their experiences.