Ritwak Ghatak (1925-1976) is considered one of India's greatest directors along with Satyajit Ray, although Ghatak's films have never been distributed in the United States. The Cornell Cinema has presented three of his little known masterworks (a loose trilogy) which were touring the country from the British Film Institute. In addition, contemporary Indian filmmaker Mani Kaul, who studied with Ghatak and has taught at Harvard, gave a talk and introduction about the filmmaker and two of the films. The talk focused on how Ghatak made use of the epic tradition in his films with his background in theater and his knowledge of Indian literature, philosophy and mythology, and also dove into Ghatak's Marxist position and the final disillusionment he experienced with organized politics.
Mani Kaul's visit and the presentation of Ritwik Ghatak's films were cosponsored with the CCA, the Einaudi Center for International Studies, the South Asia Program, the Pentangle Film Program, the Cornell India Association, and ASHA.