May 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
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.
Brooklyn, New York