He was the first major filmmaker who used his public influence to make the concept of third gender more public. He was the first gay/trans filmmaker who stepped out of the closet 10 years ago after suffering social stigma in his early years. His bold assertion of identity in his own life (and in his last three films) have made him a cult figure and strongly influenced the younger generation. His statement “Be who you want to be” is today a youth slogan.
Director Sangeeta Datta held a long working association with Ghosh and was witness to the dramatic reception of his cinema, his single-handed boost to the Bengali industry, his star status and his fight for gender free identity. In Mumbai for the MAMI festival to screen Bird of Dusk Datta recalls that she associated with her subject when she edited a book on him titled Rituparno Ghosh: Cinema, Gender and Art, Routledge.
To be continued…