To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the Government of India and the National Film Development Corporation have joined to release what any fan of serious Indian Cinema will consider extraordinary value: a 6-DVD set of 7 digitally restored and re mastered movies based of stories by Tagore, including classics by Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha and Kumar Shahani... at just Rs 399. Here is a summary of the contents:
Char Adhyay (1997) Director: Kumar Shahani
A poignant comment on the adverse effects of nationalism and a nuanced interpretation of Tagore's novella, Char Adhay is the story of Ela, loved by armed revolutionaries of the Indian freedom movement as a mascot for the country, who questions this blind indoctrination after falling in love Atin.
Khudito Pashan (1960) Director: Tapan Sinha A classic by every standard, this National Award winning film, originally the story of a tax collector who moves into a haunted mansion in a small town and falls in love with a beautiful ghost, finds a unique, visual interpretation from an ardent Tagore fan - Tapan Sinha.
Teen Kanya (1961) Director: Satyajit Ray Ray's neorealistic style of film-making found an ally in Tagore's stories of ordinary folks. Teen Kanya is based on three of his stories, The Post Master, Monihara and Samapti, and tells the story of a young village girl taught by a city-bred postmaster, a woman's obsession with her jewels, and a tomboyish girl who changes after marriage.
Kabuliwala (1961) Director: Hemen Gupta A critical and commercial success, Kabuliwala is the tender story of a widower Afghani Pathan, played evocatively by Balraj Sahni, compelled to leave his daughter in Afghanistan and relocate to India. He misses his daughter and showers his affection on a young girl in this emotional, memorable film that tugs at the heart of audiences.
Ghare Baire (1984) Director: Satyajit Ray The opening years of this century, the British are pursuing a policy of divide and rule, creating an artificial rift between Hindus and Muslims. The middle class intelligentsia is violently opposed to this policy. Sandip Mukherjee, a leader of this political movement, comes to Suksayar, the country estate of his friend Nikhil Choudhury. Nikhil's wife Bimla is swept off her feet by Sandip's charisma and lively charm, which is in sharp contrast to her own husband's calm sobriety. Sandip, attracted to Bimala, decides to make Suksayar the centre of his political activity. Nikhil realizes what has happened. He knows that Sandip is driven more by a lust for power than any genuine patriotic motive...
The DVD set includes two documentaries based on Tagore's life:
Natir Puja (1932) Director: Rabindranath Tagore
Produced by New Theatres, Natir Puja is a landmark in Indian cinema being the only film where Tagore was directly involved in production. Shot over four days on the occasion of Tagore's 70th birth anniversary in 1932, this partial but restored film written by Tagore also features him in an important role.
Rabindranath Tagore (1961) Director: Satyajit Ray
Made by Satyajit Ray to celebrate Tagore's birth centenary, this dramatized documentary features some deft cinematic touches of a master film-maker that sets it apart from most other biographical documentaries.
Can be ordered online from multiple sources, but the one we found first is http://www.induna.com May 15 2011