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With Mrinal Sen

40m Documentary 2023

“Man lives only once. He must therefore reflect on his past, redress himself, and move forward in life.” states Mrinal Sen, the maverick filmmaker quoting philosopher Brajendra Nath Seal - “It is always wise to inspect and rectify your own conclusions”. An auteur’s mindset, and the myriad pathways of his creative pursuits, serve as the focus of this documentary, which opens at the concept stage of “Ek Din Achanak” (1989). It takes a quiet observational perspective, exploring Sen’s artistic brilliance, when he is at a crossroads, still in his most dynamic phase, alternating between various issues he feels strongly about. The documentary is strikingly intimate, appearing to be autobiographical at times, more so since Sen narrates it himself. Besides, there are some of his most trusted collaborators, like cinematographer K.K. Mahajan or one of his favorite performers Shabana Azmi, who shed light on his distinctive working process, his organic style of moving from script to screen as in a journey of self-discovery. A fascinating aspect of this work is that Sen revisits it after twenty years and declares that he doesn’t have anything to add. He still adheres to the same ideology, commitment, and belief.