Indian writer Sunil Gangopadhyay, a former collaborator of Satyajit Ray, was brought on board to help with the script's authenticity. This also acted as a seal of approval for the Indian authorities, who will only allow foreign productions to be filmed in their country if they contain significant Indian input.
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Amongst the problems that beset the production were fire-bombings, mass demonstrations, media criticism, accusations of murder, a skyrocketing budget that eventually settled at the twenty-seven million dollar mark, and Warner Brothers' 11th hour pullout that nearly bankrupted the producers.
Beset with antagonism from politicians and inhabitants of Calcutta, director Roland Joffé approached India's leading director, Satyajit Ray, to condone the production. Joffé tried four times to meet with Ray, but he refused each time.
Two assistant directors were accused of the murder of a local journalist who had worked for Ashok Dasgupta, editor of "Aaj Kal", one of the leading Indian newspapers. Dasgupta launched a series of personal attacks against the production, at one point even accusing Roland Joffé of making a porno movie. Although it later transpired that the journalist in question had died of lung cancer, Dasgupta refused to withdraw his attacks, charging Joffé with paying off the autopsy physicians and police, and demanding that he hire two Indian crew members because they had insulted him. Joffé refused his demands.
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At 1:51 the poster at the wall is "Theodore Gericault Raft of the Medusa".
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