If people of the Western world were introduced to Indian films as full of colors, songs, and dance; they also had a rendezvous with the Indian realistic cinema. For instance, Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali first premiered at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in 1955 and then later it was released in Kolkata the same year. During the 1960s, the Indian government financed some of the independent films based on Indian themes.
The art cinema movement was set in motion with Ray’s Pather Panchali (1955). It was based on the story written by the Bengali author Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay and was a testament to his deep engagement in Bengali literature which was inspired by Bengal’s deep-rooted reality. Ray’s international recognition, first at Cannes in 1956, and his presence on the international film scene worked to embed among common Bengalis the fascination for Bengali cinema.
The Partition haunted Ritwik Ghatak all his life as did the subject of refugees. He identified himself with the pain and anguish of refugees who lost their entity and had to readjust in the alien environment. In his book, Cinema and I, Ghatak had said: “Cinema, to me, is a means of expressing my anger at the sorrows and sufferings of my people”