Description - Shyam Benegal by Sangeeta Datta
Shyam Benegal is the best known and most prolific contemporary film-maker from India's arthouse or "New Cinema" tradition. This work traces a career with its beginnings in political cinema and a realist aesthetic. It shows how the struggles of women and the dispossessed and marginalized in Indian society have found an eloquent expression in films as diverse as "Nishant", "Bhumika", "Mandi", "Suraj ka Satwa Ghoda" and "Kalyug". It also traces Benegal's work with collaborators including many of the biggest names in commercial cinema - Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, and more recently Karishma Kapoor, Govind Nihalini, and A.R. Rahman - developing a style and ethos uniquely his. It also provides an overview of the director's work, explaining how it presents both a stark contrast to Bollywood and yet also contains many creative continuities both with commercial cinema and with his distinguished predecessor Satyajit Ray.
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