Director: Ritwik Ghatak
Unanimously considered Ghatak's masterpiece The Cloud-Capped Star, full of deeply-felt passion and an amazing music/sound track, is the first of three films on the director's very personal interest in the theme of refugees Ghatak made films that are almost all veiled autobiography, the dispossessed orphaned homeless and disorientated find a voice In his work.
Neeta, who embodies acceptance, consolation and selflessness is the eldest daughter and sole provider for a refugee family struggling for existence in post-partition Calcutta of the Iate 1950s. Independence and a decade of famine have created a living environment that is almost beyond endurance. While the family's eldest son pursues the seemingly unrealistic goal of becoming a singer Neeta sacrifices her life's desires for their survival. Initially embracing her fate with a kind of voluptuous self-abnegation, she recognises the futility of her sacrifice too late. No longer possessing the strength to reorient her life, Neeta has literally been consumed.
Ghatak's The Cloud-Capped Star deliberately drives melodrama to its heightened dramatic extreme. His profound sense of the need for a radically changed society, for a total transformation that cannot be achieved merely at a personal or domestic level finds its stylistic expression in his emphatic use of close-ups, his dislocated unconventional editing and his unique use of exaggerated sound effects. A powerful and searing epic of struggle and hope.