Rabindranath Tagore (Film)

  • Raja Chatterjee
  • Soanlal Ganguli
  • Smaran Ghosal
  • Purnendu Mukherjee
  • Phani Nan
  • Norman Ellis
  • Satyajit Ray: spokesman

Rabindranath Tagore is a semi-documentary film directed by Satyajit Ray. He was just like the movie Teen Kanya episode for the 100th anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore in May 1961.


Starting with photographs of the funeral procession to Rabindranath Tagore's corpse in 1941 deals with the documentation of his life and his work stations embedded in historical events of the time.

Starting from Rabindranaths family history, about childhood and youth of the beginning of his literary career, and his encounter are presented with European music. Rabindranath moves to the countryside and 1901 according to Shantiniketan, where he later founded his establishment. Then follow the important events such as the partition of Bengal in 1905, the idea of his own translation of Gitanjali in England in 1912, the Nobel Prize the following year, he was appointed Knight in 1915, the Amritsar massacre in 1919 and the return of the Knights in honor of the British king. In the 1920s Rabindranaths began traveling through the world, where he established numerous contacts with Western intellectuals and his paintings exhibited. The documentary ends with his last ten years of life in Shantiniketan, several of which original recordings are available.


Rabindranath Tagore was Ray's first documentary work. As early as 1958 he spoke with representatives of the central government on this project, which was eventually produced by the film department of the government. The goal was a worthy portrait of a Indian national poet - controversial aspects of his person as his initial admiration of Mussolini, its ambivalent relationship Bengali public or the suicide of his sister in law were deliberately omitted. Ray also waived the inclusion of interviews with fellow travelers who would have been easy to get 20 years after Tagore. The film is spoken with English Original comment by Satyajit Ray, because this movie should be understood in all parts of India. Since Ray held the transfers Tagor'scher poetry into English for little succeeded he renounced recitations of poems of Tagore. In the absence of sufficient documentary material Ray grabbed some back to re-enacted by actors episodes of Tagore's life. Besides paintings, photographs and other documents are shown.

One of the unique products in this documentation include a reconstruction of Rabindranaths Opera Balmiki Pratibha and two short recordings of Rabindranath Tagore's feminine original voice - a description of nature impressions when he lived with his brother and his sister in law, and a piece of the song Tobu mone rekho.

Designer of the scenes was Bansi Chandragupta.