Satyajit Ray, Uncut!

SR blogMay 2 is Satyajit Ray’s birthday. The great movie maestro, remember?

People have remembered his Apu Trilogy. They are masterpiece Indian-Bengali movies, a genre world had not seen before him. Who can forget the little village boy, and his poor priest father, and a beautiful sister who died of malaria? And the helpless mother, and an adorable aunt? Who can forget the passing train sequence, and the monsoon shots?

We can’t. They are never to be forgotten.

But people have not remembered his Calcutta Trilogy, because media and movie critics thought they were too anti-establishment and anti-capitalist-powers. They were too uncomfortable and “controversial” for the ruling class. They excluded Calcutta Trilogy from any serious discussion and debate on avant-garde films.

But if you are interested, just in case, here they are.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-inaeJjndRg (English subtitled) — The Adversary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWrXERdiIaE&app=desktop (English subtitled) — The Middleman

People have not remembered his anti-war masterpieces, either. His two incredible anti-war, anti-fascism movies: The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha, and In the Land of King Diamond. They are made primarily for children, but they are definitely for all of us to enjoy, and reflect on. Especially today, when war mongers, racists, and fascists are taking over the world, all over again.

You want to see them? Here they are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmzxFK2Dv2Y (subtitled) — The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha

and

In the Land of King Diamond (English subtitled)

Especially corporate, pro-1% film institutions such as Hollywood and Bollywood have decided to sanitize and sanctify his creations, and boxed Ray in a beautiful, mesmerizing Apu box.

Yet, I find his other creations much more powerful. They shake up our conscience. They expose fascists, war-mongers, and corporate capitalism — evils destroying humanity today.

Let’s remember this great spokesman for an equal, progressive, dignified humanity.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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2 thoughts on “Satyajit Ray, Uncut!

  1. Very nicely written. Indeed at present the world is swept away with capitalism and human dignity is sacrificed in its alter. We recently watched Jana Aranya (The middleman). What a compassionate movie! I am a bit surprised that you didn’t comment on “Agantuk (The stranger), his last movie, and possibly the most opinionated one about the perceived progress of the human society.

    1. I will write about Agantuk later. I wanted to focus on the unknown Calcutta Trilogy and his anti-war masterpieces. I recently published a long article on Goopy Gayen in an Indian film journal.

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