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An Ambiguous Journey to the CityThe Village and Othe Odd Ruins of the Self in the Indian Imagination$
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Ashis Nandy

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195683974

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195683974.001.0001

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The journey to the Village as a journey to the Centre of the Self

The journey to the Village as a journey to the Centre of the Self

Mrinal Sen’s Search for a Radical Cinema

(p.72) 3 The journey to the Village as a journey to the Centre of the Self
An Ambiguous Journey to the City

Ashis Nandy

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on filmmaker, Mrinal Sen, who, unlike Barua, caters to a more exclusive audience in India and abroad. The more important difference, though, lies in the collective experiences of uprooting, exodus, and mass death that contaminate Sen's journey. The rigid psychological defences he built around the ideas of civic virtues, individual creativity, and radical social criticism hide the loss but the anguish occasionally breaks through. Sen cannot be in peace with the city either. The village in Sen's imagination becomes, once in a while, a survivor's village, only he does not acknowledge it. He tries to ‘normalize’ the loss through his cultivated fear of nostalgia and a radical vision of future that hermetically seals for safekeeping memories of the disasters that have taken place in the past.

Keywords:   Mrinal Sen, filmmakers, city and village, Faridpur, uprooting, exodus, mass death, nostalgia, social criticism, civic virtues

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