Chetan Anand: The Poetics of Film
Himalaya Films, Media Entertainment, 2007 - Motion picture producers and directors - 151 pages
Chetan Anand's very first film, Neecha Nagar won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 1946 at the first International Film Festival held after World War II along with Davin Lean's Brief Encounter and Sven Nykvist's Frenzy.If, at the age of thirty, one has achieved such distinction , it may be assumed that a glorious future would be assured. Unfortunately, the very opposite fate overtook both the film and its creator. Neecha Nagar was an allegorical story about the freedom struggle of the Gandhian Satyagraha movement. By the time it should have been released Partition took place and the country was plunged into the tragic events that followed.No one was prepared to take the risk of releasing it. The Anand family belonged to Gurdaspur in the Punjab.The father was the leading criminal lawyer of the place and a prominent freedom fighter, courting arrest and imprisonment. Chetan, the eldest son, was first educated at Gurukul kangri, Haridwar, imbibing the best of the traditional system and later at Government College, Lahore, the premier institution of the Punjab University, where he came under the tutelage of some of the finest educationists in the Western manner, who developed his talent for the theatre.After a spell at City College, London, he returned to India to work first in All India Radio and then at the prestigious Doon School, Dehradun. He migrated to Bombay along with his brothers, Dev and Vijay(Goldie) to explore the possibilities of the film world,where as everyone knows , they established themselves as one of the foremost families of the industry. Chetan Anand: The Poetics of Film is an account of the work of the least known but arguably the most creative and intellectual member of the clan.Told in two parts, the first by the writer, Uma Anand , his former wife, about his background and the individuals, interests and events that shaped his life and influenced his decisions:the second part, recounted by his elder son, Ketan Anand, who worked with his father and both his uncles, before branching out on his won. This is a seminal work of importance not only as it pertains to a unique individual but also as a contribution to an important period in the history of the film in India.