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'Aakaler Sandhane' (In Search of Famine) to my mind is one of the best films Mrinal Sen ever made. His superb touch, some puckish humour and sense of drama is backed up by some wonderful acting. No wonder this film simply ran away with every award in India and the Silver Bear in Berlin.
The story is about a film company which sets out to make a film on the Great Bengal Famine of 1943. They select a village in rural Bengal for outdoor shooting and start work. The story weaves around the trials of the troupe in the village.
To me, the best part of the film is the way Mrinal Sen interlaces three distinct themes. The first is the superficial story of the film company and the difficulties they face. The second is the class distinctions conservatism and prejudices that permeates village society and the third is a scathing criticism that 50 years after independence, stark poverty still exists and famine still stalks the land.
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