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A River Called Titas [1973] [DVD]

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Rosy Samad, Fakrul Hasan Bairagi, Narain Chakraborty, Banani Choudhury, Kabari Choudhury
  • Directors: Ritwik Ghatak
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Bengali
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Oct. 2002
  • Run Time: 151 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006IXD0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,992 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

A RIVER CALLED TITAS
A Film by Ritwik Ghatak

Based on a celebrated Bengali novel by Advaita Malla Barman, A River Called Titas was filmed in Ghatak's childhood home of East Bengal shortly after the independence of Bangladesh. Overwhelmed by the changes in his native land, Ghatak made this, his penultimate feature film, as a grim recognition of the inevitability of change and the terrible cyclical power of loss and resurrection. As Ghatak unfolds the tragic tale of a couple separated by a kidnapping, he also delivers a lyrical account of the speech, rhythms and rituals of a Malo fishing community. It is perhaps Ghatak's most ambitious project a raw and powerful tale of a drying river and a dying culture.

This DVD includes an introduction by film critic Derek Malcolm, and an on-screen Director's biography. (Optional hard-of-hearing subtitles on extra materials)

India | 1973 | black & white | Bengali language with English subtitles | 151 minutes | Ratios 1.33:1 | Region 0 PAL DVD

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With such a terrible scarcity of Bengali films available to viewers outside of West Bengal let alone outside of India this is well worth acquiring for your collection. The scenery and scenes are evocative enough to a curious western eye to make viewing compulsive. That said it is a film that on first viewing is not easily accessible to those without prior knowledge of the customs and traditions of the Hindu Malo fishing community it is dealing with and I was left with the feeling that there was a lot I'd not understood. Having later been lucky enough to get hold of the rare translation of the truly fantastic original novel (Titas Ekti Nadir Naam by Advaita Malla Barman, published by Penguin India) the film opened up to me and a lot of detail that the book had time to explain became visible in the film. Perhaps the director was at fault for not limiting the adaptation to fit within the scope of a film. On the other hand perhaps it's the lack of prior knowledge of subjects that makes world cinema so enticing in the first place.
The film is well worth having but if you can find it, read the book too.
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Format: DVD
This film by somewhat neglected Indian director Ritwik Ghatak is one of the most unusual I have ever seen. The stories are set among the harsh life around the banks of Bangladesh's rivers (one of the poorest regions of the world). It tells several gruesome tales: abductions, escapes, living among strangers, death, though the characters go through this with the resignation of someone who knows that life is hard and always have been. Now, having seen this film more than a decade ago, I cannot recall all the details. But the unusual part is the way this story is told. It puts a character at the center of the story for, say, twenty minutes, and then it moves to another character, who was playing a minor role in the first story. And then to another character, and so on. It is a collection of stories, but loosely (or not so loosely interconnected). Overall, a fine tapestry of life in one of the poorest parts of the world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life of a Village on The River Titas 27 Sept. 2011
By Lauren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
A River Called Titas is an adaptation of an autobiographical Bengali novel by Advaita Malla Barman that spans the course of over 30 years. Made shortly after the independence of Bangladesh in 1973, director Ritwik Ghatak's black and white film tells an epic story of a small fishing village surviving along the banks of the Titas River. The members of the community battle with heartache, bandits, mental illness, death, and ultimately the River itself that is gradually drying up and taking their livelihood along with it. The River becomes more like a character than a setting as it flows along at once peaceful, dreamy, and abundant to eventually dismal and scanty. The stunning score, which is all local folk music, encompasses the emotional and nostalgic feel of the film and Barman's lyrical storytelling. Ghatak mourns a past that is disappearing with the Titas, but somehow the river finds a way to keep flowing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive and unusual film 16 Jan. 2010
By Andres C. Salama - Published on Amazon.com
This film by somewhat neglected Indian director Ritwik Ghatak is one of the most unusual I have ever seen. The stories are set among the harsh life around the banks of Bangladesh's rivers (one of the poorest regions of the world). It tells several gruesome tales: abductions, escapes, living among strangers, death, though the characters go through this with the resignation of someone who knows that life is hard and always have been. Now, having seen this film more than a decade ago, I cannot recall all the details. But the unusual part is the way this story is told. It puts a character at the center of the story for, say, twenty minutes, and then it moves to another character, who was playing a minor role in the first story. And then to another character, and so on. It is a collection of stories, but loosely (or not so loosely interconnected). Overall, a fine tapestry of life in one of the poorest parts of the world.
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