Director: Satyajit Ray
Beginning of the 20th century. In a palace in Bengal, an aristocratic landowner listens to the music of the initiation party of his arrogant neighbor’s son, and reminds him of the great recital he organized for his own son, as well as the events that happened later in his life, his economic adversities and his efforts to maintain the family’s prestige. Jalsaghar is a portrait of the changing ideals of the time, of the new modern ways of considering existence that confront the traditional ones, and that in the end wants to talk to us about the difference in social classes, represented in the aristocrat and all those who, because they do not have “royal” blood, are below.
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.