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Photo of Satyajit Ray
Photo of Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray

“What is attempted in these films is of course a synthesis. But it can be seen by someone who has his feet in both cultures. Someone who will bring to bear on the films involvement and detachment in equal measure.”

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    THE STRANGER

    Satyajit Ray India, 1991

    Ostensibly a psychological mystery, Satyajit Ray’s last film is a deeply philosophical rumination on the evolution of civilization and human nature. Based on his own short story Athiti, The Stranger ponders on a world where the value of material wealth far exceeds that of humanity, trust, and love.

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    THE HOME AND THE WORLD

    Satyajit Ray India, 1984

    Reminiscent of Charulata, the heady love triangle at the heart of this Rabindranath Tagore adaptation blends privates passions with political fervor. Gorgeously lit and meticulously framed, Ray’s masterwork deftly juxtaposes the early 20th-century nationalist movement with the emancipation of women.

    THE CHESS PLAYERS

    Satyajit Ray India, 1977

    Made during an era of press censorship in India, The Chess Players is a self-described “contemplative though unsparing” drama that examined the country’s future through its past. An exquisite satire from one of world cinema’s most beloved masters: Satyajit Ray.

    THE COWARD

    Satyajit Ray India, 1965

    This superbly crafted chamber piece is sparse in dialogue yet intense in its arresting economy of gazes, distances, and the aching return of suppressed memories. Stellar performances from Soumitra Chatterjee and Madhabi Mukherjee, reunited here after Ray’s Charulata, offer a masterclass in acting.

    THE HOLY MAN

    Satyajit Ray India, 1965

    Choosing just one Satyajit Ray film is ridiculously hard. Ray’s work never feels dated, and no film more so today than the superbly inventive and biting Mahapurush. Ray is having a total blast in this perfectly staged, executed, and balanced satire about our religious beliefs and superstitions.-VM

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