RBN Web Desk: Ekti Jiban, the purported 1989 biopic on educationist Gurudas Bhattacharya who went on to write an exhaustive self-contained Bengali dictionary, is now available for online viewing. Soumitra Chatterjee played the lead in the film which is often considered one of the finest performances of the actor.
Ekti Jiban was based on the story of the same name by popular Bengali author Buddhadeb Basu. Directed by Raja Mitra, it chronicles the life of the central character in the film and his long tireless efforts to compile the dictionary.
It is widely believed that filmmaker Satyajit Ray was interested to make a film on Basu’s story. That didn’t materialise because of several reasons. Mitra approached Ray and said that he wanted to make the film. The latter reportedly encouraged him and also suggested some changes in the script which Mitra had written.
The film took nearly five years to complete and was ready in 1987. It was invited to all major international film festivals including Cannes, Toronto, and Locarno. It won Mitra the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director the same year. Ekti Jiban was commercially released two years later to widespread critical acclaim.
The cast of the film included Madhabi Mukherjee, Biplab Chatterjee, Gyanesh Mukhopadhyay, Bankim Ghosh, Sunil Mukherjee, and others.
Bhattacharya has a college named after him in north Kolkata.