Ananda Majumdar, a wealthy, retired industrialist, is stricken by an illness during a ceremony in honor of his seventieth birthday. Members of his family (his three sons) rush immediately at his bedside. There they find Proshanto, the fourth son, who lives with his father. Proshanto spends his time listening to music and is considered to be the family failure. The two eldest sons, involved in business, live corrupt lives and do not want their father, an uncompromising moralist who believes in work and honesty, to find out. The youngest of the four, weary of office life, would love to become an actor. A family meal and a picnic accentuate the tensions. –Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center
Satyajit Ray is one of cinema’s truest Renaissance men. In addition to his films, he is a reputed writer of short stories, a music composer (scores for his own films and other film-makers, notably Merchant-Ivory’s Shakespeare Wallah) and a painter and graphic designer of considerable skill. Appropriately enough, Ray derived from a background of great culture, the son of poet Sukumar Ray who died when he was three years old. His interest in fine arts, literature and painting led him to reside at Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan (an intellectual retreat for artists and thinkers) for a significant period of time. Ray’s true love however was the cinema. The cinema of 30s Hollywood, which included Fred Astaire musicals and comedies by Ernst Lubitsch; Russian films he devoured in repeated viewings at the Calcutta Film Society (which he co-founded in 1947) and later the Italian neorealist films which he discovered in London.
At the time of the Second World War, and the final period of… read more