Mrinal Sen Dies: Acclaimed Director Won India’s Top Film Honor, Was 95

Mrinal Sen (left)
AP Images

Mrinal Sen, the filmmaker who won India’s highest film honor, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, has died. He was 95 and passed from natural causes at his home in Kolkata.

Sen is known for his contributions to Bengali parallel cinema, a movement originating in West Bengal that took a serious approach to filmmaking, rejecting  mainstream Indian commercial cinema and its dance-and-song routines.

The movement was known for serious content, realism and the sociopolitical climate of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Sen was born on May 14, 1923, in Faridpur, now in Bangladesh. He originally moved to Kolkata to study physics, but turned in a different direction toward filmmaking. His feature debut was in 1955. Raat Bhore starred Uttam Kumar.

Sen went on to direct such films as Neel Akasher NeecheyBaishey SravanBhuvan Shome and Akaler Sandhane.

In 1983, Sen received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award. In 2005, he received the country’s highest film honor, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

India President Ram Nath Kovind called his death a loss to world cinema.

This article was printed from