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aka Distance 1978 96’ b&w Bengali dp/sc Buddadhev Dasgupta st Sirsendu Mukherjee c Ranajit Roy m Ain Rasheed Khan, Mahmud Mirza lp Mamata Shankar, Pradip Mukherjee, Bijon Bhattacharya, Niranjan Ray, Snigdha Bannerjee, Provosh Sarkar Dasgupta’s feature debut is a story about a young man’s growth into maturity. A Calcutta college teacher and former revolutionary of the late 60s generation, Mondar

(P. Mukherjee), marries a young woman, Anjali (Shankar). When the former rebel learns that Anjali is a single mother, he leaves her. He also refuses shelter to a Naxalite on the run. The lonely teacher forms a relationship with a working-class woman and her insane mother, but class differences prevent this from going any further. In the end, he finds that the woman he rejected is mature enough to accept him as a friend and their relationship shows renewed promise as he tries to shed his prejudices. The film continued the Bengali cinema’s fascination with the Naxalite uprising of the late 60s and 70s, often using symbolic imagery as in the opening shot of a newly paved VIP road and the commentary linking the annihilation of ‘troublemakers’ with the ‘beautification’ of the city. The film recalled aspects of Ray’s 70s Calcutta films in its extensive use of silence and its consistently lyrical emphasis on the protagonist’s subjectivity.