A tribute to a multi-faceted and self-effacing man who has created a distinctive body of work in theatre and cinema for over six decades.
The lives and careers of filmmakers who have made significant a contribution to the mediums of theatre and television are rarely considered worthy of critical attention. Actor Masood Akhtar’s film, Kahan Kahan Se Guzre —— on filmmaker, art and stage director M.S. Sathyu — is an exception. The 104-minute long film (with a 70-minute shorter version) produced and directed by Akhtar is a personal tribute to a multi-faceted and self-effacing man who has created a distinctive body of work in theatre and cinema for over six decades.
The film was five years in the making, with Akhtar following his subject and the arc of his career and influence through the country. Shot in Hindi and English with English subtitles, the short version of the documentary will be shown as part of the NCPA Fresh Pix Series, which brings regional and indie cinema outside the film festival circuit to the lay audience.
Among Sathyu’s landmark contributions are Garam Hawa (1973) on the tragedy of Partition told from the eyes of a Muslim family that opts to stay back. Sathyu has also been one of the patrons of Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and remains a significant critic of the entertainment formula that has progressively swept through the art and culture industries in post-Independence India.
In his own work comprising several theatre productions, 15 documentaries and eight feature films in Hindi, Urdu and Kannada, Sathyu has combined sensitivity and intelligence to create important modern landmarks of a very high standard that simultaneously remain accessible to all people.
This documentary is a combined tribute to Sathyu by well-known theatre and film personalities such as Vijaya Mehta, Habib Tanvir, Usha Ganguly, Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal and a host of others. At the heart of the film are extensive interviews with Sathyu, where he talks about his childhood and youth and shares his experiences in the worlds of theatre and film and his views on the making of art and culture in a changing India.
Sathyu remains a significant critic of the entertainment formula that has progressively swept through the art and culture industries in post-Independence India.