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The Brilliance of Satyajit Ray

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
7:00 p.m. The Home and the World
Satyajit Ray (India, 1984)

“A sweeping chamber-epic, so exquisitely realized that an entire world is evoked.”—Vincent Canby

(Ghare Baire). Rabindranath Tagore’s classic novel of 1905 Bengal offers the setting for Ray’s examination of one woman’s search for independence, and a nation’s fight for freedom. As outside forces threaten to split Bengal into two, a progressive aristocrat introduces his wife to a radical school friend; their burgeoning relationship soon proves as challenging to the status quo as the revolutions in the world around them. “When it comes to truthfulness about women’s lives,” noted Pauline Kael, “this great filmmaker Ray shames the American and European directors of both sexes.” “The Home and the World was to have been my first film,” recalled Ray. “The fact that thirty years intervened between desire and fulfillment has, I think, helped the film because of the experience I have gained in the meantime, not only of my craft, but of human nature.”

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Ray, based on the novel by Rabindranath Tagore. Photographed by Soumendu Roy. With Soumitra Chatterjee, Victor Banerjee, Swatilekha Chatterjee, Gopa Aich. (140 mins, In English and Bengali with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center, courtesy Academy Film Archive, permission Janus Films/Criterion Collection)