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1993 91’ col Bengali d/sc Mrinal Sen p NFDC, Doordarshan st Sadat Hasan Manto c/m Shashi Anand lp Anjan Dutt, Dimple Kapadia, Deepti Roy, Kajal Gupta, Amal Mukherjee, Satya Bandyopadhyay

A warmly lit, vividly coloured love story about a young writer in search of inspiration in an old country mansion. He strikes up a telephonic relationship with an anonymous woman caller, isolated in her lavish urban flat. The interaction provides the writer with materials for a new fiction. The viewer, however, is shown something of the woman’s life: she is the mistress of a wealthy old man (who remains absent from the film) and thus supports her lower middle-class family. The ending deploys a device familiar from Bengali short stories as the two protagonists meet each other in a train compartment where the melody of his voice allows her a moment of recognition. Sen weaves allusions to Tagore’s Kshudita Pashan into the narrative, but the film seems to hinge on an exploration of what is shown or voiced and what is unspoken or absent.