City revisits Shantaram’s tribute to Kotnis

In 1938,Dwarkanath Kotnis,a doctor,led a medical team to China to attend to the sick and wounded people of that country ravaged by the China-Japan war. Kotnis stayed back in that country and later died there.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: February 16, 2009 2:25:56 am

In 1938,Dwarkanath Kotnis,a doctor,led a medical team to China to attend to the sick and wounded people of that country ravaged by the China-Japan war. Kotnis stayed back in that country and later died there.

In 1945,legendary film-maker V Shantaram made a film on the life the doctor — “Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani”— that gave a new dimension to the relations between the two countries. Vignettes of the glorious past depicting the relationship of both the countries came alive on Sunday,during a function organised by the state government on the occasion of the inauguration of the 8th International Social Communication Cinema Conference,a film festival that promotes social communication.

The festival was dedicated to China which is celebrating 60 years of its revolution and Cuba’s celebration of 50 years of its revolution.Present on the dais were two sisters of Kotnis — Vatsala and Manorama — and Kiran Shantaram,son of the legendary film-maker.

Inaugurating the function,Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said: “China is a miracle country. They took major strides in all fields.”

Manorama Kotnis spoke about her brother and the respect that he commands back in China. “I have heard about the hardship my brother went through in China. He is considered a hero there,” said Manorama. Kiran Shantaram also spoke about the film his father made and how it contributed to improving relations between the two countries. In all,47 films from various countries,including US,China and Cuba will be shown in the festival that will last till February 21.

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