Interview with Saibal Mitra
When the 21st International Film Festival of Kerala has given way for heated debates regarding National Anthem and Supreme Court order, Bengali director Saibal Mitra wishes to make his next movie on the backdrop of Nationalism. I don’t understand any sort of imposed nationalism and the fascist way of looking at things. My next movie will have the flavor of nationalism in theme and story” says Saibal Mitra after watching the maiden screening of his movie Chitrokar( The last Mural) at Tagore theatre today. Albeit a Bengali movie, he feels rapturous to screen his movie for the packed audience of Kerala prior to the Bengali movie lovers. The very movie screened in the ‘International Competition’ section of Kerala was followed by the Indian Panorama section of the International Film Festival of India. Saibal Mitra who tries to explore his experience in art responds to the IFFK Media Cell.
Q: In the post modern era of market economy and commercial success,what made you come up with a movie like Chitrokar?
A: My movie Chitrokar is inspired by the lives of Indian painter Binod Bihari Mukherjee and American painter Mark Rothko. Whatever my topic is, I have to experience it personally. Binod Babu, an artist I personally knew right from my school days kindled in me the joy of creation which lies in the endless process. I am least bothered of commercial success and monetary impacts.I wish to create a space, a region which is capable of narrating a story very close to the mind’s eye. The protagonist Bijan Bose in spite of being blind has a constant vision which is awake while sleeping and decaying.
Q: How did you feel after screening your movie in IFFK especially before revealing to the movie fans of Bengal?
A: I feel overjoyed at the screening of my movie in IFFK and really honored to watch it along with the movie lovers across India. Chitrokar had its first screening in the Goa fest and IFFK is the second venue. It is a matter of immense delight for me to show this for the Kerala audience prior to the people of my land. Kerala viewers are also exceptional just like the prodigy of this gala. They are very open and more receptive than Bengalis. The first impression of my first trip to Kerala as well as to the IFFK became a red-letter one.
Q: Why do you like make your next movie on nationalism?
A: I don’t agree with any sort of imposed nationalism. I am not for any kind of institutionalized activity and for me it is a fascist way of looking at things. My upcoming movie will look forward to bring my views on nationalism.
Q: Do you wish to try a new theme away from your artistic creations of Byomkesh Bakshi and Bijan Bose?
A: You can’t express things without knowing a language. The very language having the red colour of artery is capable of giving light to it. The eye of an artist surpasses the physical power of human eye. My intention is never to gain name and fame from all people who view my film.I will be glad if my movie is capable of staying in the dawn of the minds of a handful viewers just like Binod Bihari lies immortal in my mind.