Director: Satyajit Ray
At the end of the 19th century, when India was still a British colony, Charu, a woman of Bengali high society who leads an idle life, is married to Bhupati. He, who has inherited a fortune, uses his money to publish a political newspaper and is proud that he has not allowed himself to be dragged down by comfort and idleness. Based on the elegant, masterful and subtle story by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Charulata is, almost sixty years after its premiere, a masterpiece.
Satyajit Ray was born in Calcutta in 1921. Son of Sukumar Ray, one of the leading figures of the Bengali literary scene, in 1940 he graduated in economics from the University of Calcutta and went to work as an illustrator at Tagore University in Viswa-Bharati. He made his directorial debut in 1955 with the eponymous adaptation of the 1928 novel Pather Panchali (“Song of the Road”), which began his trilogy on the life of the young Apu, followed by Aparajito (“The Invincible”, 1956) and Apur Sansar (“Apu’s World”, 1959). This was the basis for the rise of his reputation as one of the country’s best filmmakers. In addition to being a director, he was a screenwriter, composer of the soundtrack, editor and designer of the credits and publicity material for his films. Throughout his extensive film career, Ray received as many as 36 Indian National Film Awards, a Golden Lion, two Silver Bears, as well as the Bharat Ratna, India’s most prestigious civilian award. Almost a month before his death, he became the first Indian to receive an Honorary Oscar in 1992.