The word Magic, known better as the art of conjuring, is the art of entertaining an audience by performing illusions that entertain, baffle and amaze, often by giving the impression that something impossible has been achieved. Kolkata was once a hub of magic in the ’70s – ‘80s. However today the art finds very few takers and people are no longer as interested in stage magic as they were earlier. Unlike other art forms such as classical singing and dance, stage magic never got its due recognition and a large number of artists who pursue this craft go unknown and unsung in the very city which was once the breeding ground for legendary magicians. To reinforce this lost glory of the performers of this art the screening of a documentary movie “Fading Magic: The Story of Kolkata’s Magicians” by Amit Sahai, in collaboration with Imran Zaki and Jasjit Singh was held at The National Library Auditorium, Alipore ,Kolkata. The event was graced by Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi, Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal along with renowned dignitaries hailing from different walks of life.
The 50 minute documentary film takes a grim look into the present lives of Kolkata’s once famous stage magicians while simultaneously discussing the city’s importance in the national and international magic scenario. The documentary harps on the compelling human story of unique artists, their art form and its position in today’s date. The effort was to remind people that these artists, too, have devoted their lives in pursuit of an art form and should receive the due respect they deserve. The Story weaves around the lives of the unknown artists around us who need to be applauded before they fade away. The documentary lays special focus on the lives of Magician Prince S.Lal, who had won the International Brotherhood of Magic awards and another renowned magician Late Charlie. The film also features Sam Dalal acknowledging his efforts in making the city become the global manufacturing hub for magic items and kits and giving employment to hundreds. Music of the documentary has been composed by Avijit Kundu, a young piano teacher at The Calcutta School of Music.
With such initiatives being taken up, magicians who have not yet got the due respect will be surely getting it from the audiences in future.