Rabindranath Tagore by Satyajit Ray

India celebrates the 150th anniversary of Tagore on May 9

Rabindranath Tagore

Weekend Video Post – Documentary

150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore

India begins celebrations today to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of iconic poet and playwright Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.

Tagore is revered by the world’s 250 million Bengali speakers in India and neighbouring Bangladesh. Pochishe Boishakh (25th day of Boishakh, the first month in the Bengali calendar) is the birth anniversary of Tagore which this year falls on May 9. This year is special since it marks the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Thumbnail Credits
Painting By: Shubnum Gill
License: All rights reserved by Shubnum Gill
You may see the original painting on her Flickr account.

Rabindranath Tagore রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর: 150 Years
Tagore was a great humanist, poet, writer, painter, musician, novelist, dramatist, educationist and first Asian to receive Nobel Prize (1913).
Shubnum Gill
In 1961, on the insistence of Prime-minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Satyajit Ray (May 2, 1921 – April 23, 1992), the world renowned Indian filmmaker, was commissioned to make a documentary on Rabindranath Tagore (May 7, 1861- August 7, 1941), on the occasion of the poet’s birth centennial, a tribute to the person who probably influenced Ray most. Due to limited real footage of Tagore available, Ray faced the challenge of making a film out of mainly static material, and he remarked that it took as much work as three feature films.
– From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I bring to you that famous documentary in this weekend’s video blog post.

Rabindranath Tagore by Satyajit Ray

Rabindranath Tagore is a 1961 documentary on the life and works of noted Bengali author Rabindranath Tagore. It was made on the anniversary of his hundredth birthday and was written and directed by Satyajit Ray. Tagore was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1913 for Gitanjali (Bangla: গীতাঞ্জলি), a collection of poetry.

Video Source: Vimeo
Also Available: YouTube
Documentary Credits
Rabindranath Tagore 1961, India. Documentary, 54 minutes, Black & White
Producer: Films Division, Govt. of India
Script. commentary & Direction: Satyajit Ray
Cinematography: Soumendu Roy
Editing: Dulal Dutta
Art Direction: Bansi Chandragupta
Music: Jyotirindra Moitra
Raya Chatterjee, Sovanlal Ganguli, Smaran Ghosal, Purnendu Mukherjee, Kallol Bose, Subir Bose, Phani Nan, Norman Ellis
The documentary details the life and work of the celebrated Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 “because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.” Rabindranath Tagore was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, born in Calcutta. He was educated at home. At seventeen he was sent to England for formal schooling, which he did not complete. Tagore was knighted by the ruling British Government in 1915, but within a few years he resigned the honor as a protest against British policies in India.
The documentary was made to celebrate Tagore’s birth centenary in May 1961. Ray was conscious that he was making an official portrait of India’s celebrated poet and hence the film does not include any controversial aspects of Tagore’s life. However, it is far from being a propaganda film.
The film comprises dramatized episodes from the poet’s life and archived images and documents.
The dramatized sequences of boy Rabi (Rabindranath Tagore) and young Tagore in his twenties are moving and lyrical. Ray has been reported to have said, “Ten or twelve minutes of it are among the most moving and powerful things that I have produced”.

  • President’s Gold Medal, New Delhi, 1961
  • Golden Seal, Locarno, 1961
  • Special Mention, Montevideo, 1962

Rabindranath Tagore (1961, Documentary)

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