Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away
Renowned filmmaker Mrinal Sen at a function in Kollam, Kerala, in December 2009. Photo: Manorama Archives

Kolkata: Dadasaheb Phalke award-winning film director Mrinal Sen passed away on Sunday after a prolonged battle with age-related ailments, family sources said. He was 95.

"Sen passed away today around 10.30 am due to age-related ailments," a family member said.

The auteur, who has won multiple National Film awards, was known for his artistic depiction of social reality.

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away
Mrinal Sen receiving the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the most prestigious honour in Indian cinema, from the then President Abdul Kalam (L) in New Delhi in early 2005. Photo: AFP/RAVEENDRAN

A Padma Bhushan and Dada Saheb Phalke award winner, Sen was an apostle of the Indian New Wave cinema. He has been given the moniker 'Maverick Maestro' for innovative experiments. He directed 27 feature films, 14 short films and four documentaries in a long career spanning from 1956 to 2002. 

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away
Mrinal Sen with actor Mammootty at a function in 1998. Photo: Manorama Archives

Sen is much known for films like 'Baishe Srabon', 'Mrigayaa', 'Ek Din Pratidin', 'Bhuvan Shome',  'Akaler Sandhane', 'Ek Din Achanak', 'Padatik', 'Neel Akasher Neechey' and 'Khandahar'. He also made the Telugu film 'Oka Oori Katha' in 1977.

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away
Eminent film directors Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Mrinal Sen at a film festival in New Delhi. Photo: PTI Files

Sen made his first feature film 'Raat Bore' in 1955. He rose to fame with 'Neel Akasher Neechey' (1955) and 'Baishe Srabon' (1960). Sen made films portraying various social and political issues. 

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away
Mrinal Sen with Malayalam filmmaker Jayaraj. Photo: Manorama Archives

He was among the three directors who brought the Bengali parallel cinema to the global stage alongside Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak.

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away
Mrinal Sen receiving an award from former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. Photo: PTI Files

He was a friend of Columbian novelist Gabriel García Márquez and had often been invited as a judge at international film festivals. The filmkaer was a member of the Indian People's Theatre Association.

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away
Former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee (C) with veteran cinematographer Ramananda Sengupta (R) and filmmaker Mrinal Sen during 16th Kolkata Film Festival in Kolkata in 2010. Photo: PTI Files

His autobiography - Always Being Born – was published in 2004.

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away
Mrinal Sen being greeted by wife Gita Sen, at his residence in Kolkata in 2015, on his 92nd birth anniversary. Photo: PTI Files

Sen was born on May 14 in 1923 at Faridpur, a town now in Bangladesh.

Sen was a a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 1997 to 2003.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled the demise of Sen on Twitter.

"Saddened at the passing away of Mrinal Sen. A great loss to the film industry. My condolences to his family," she tweeted.

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away
Mrinal Sen with actor Vikram and Meera Jasmin at the 51st National Film Awards presentation ceremony in New Delhi on February 2, 2005. Photo: PTI

CPI Secretary General Sitaram Yechury also remembered the filmmaker for his humanistic narrative.

"Mrinal Sen's passing away is a big loss not only to Cinema but to the world of Culture & India's civilisational values. Mrinal da radicalised cinematography by his people-centric humanistic narrative. Deepest condolences," he wrote.

Bengali film industry also mourned the loss of the illustrious director.

Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen, 95, passes away
Mrinal Sen with actress and film director Aparna Sen. Photo: PTI Files

Parambrata Chatterjee tweeted, "End of an era... an epoch... legends never die... bhalo thakben (stay well)."

Prosenjit Chatterjee said, "At the end of the year receiving news like demise of the legend Mrinal Sen saddens and shocks us. Mrinal jethu gave a new perspective to Indian Cinema. It's a huge loss for all of us. May his soul rest in peace."