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The Big City

Directed by Satyajit Ray
1963
India
135 minutes
All Ages
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A young mother enters the workforce, first out of necessity for her family and then for her new found autonomy. Feminism and worker’s rights permeate this deeply moving family drama.
Madhabi Mukherjee leads a stellar cast with a stunning performance as Arati, a Kolkata housewife who nervously ventures out for her first job to make her struggling family’s ends meet. This upheaval in the domestic order produces simmering resentment from her traditionalist in-laws and mixed messages from her well-meaning but sometimes insensitive husband Subrata (Anil Chatterjee). But Arati soon grows to love the autonomy, self-esteem and new friendships that working brings her. Ray weaves this beautifully intricate tale with exquisite detail, great sympathy for each character, and a poignant tinge of melodrama.
So poignant, so good-humoured, sad and serene; the pace is so meaningfully languid, the atmosphere so true.
Bosley Crowther, New York Times
A significant way station on Satyajit Ray’s complex – and as yet little-analysed – journey from a relatively sanguine liberalism to the edgier, far more conflicted worldview that one detects in his later works.
Chandak Sengoopta, Criterion

Tickets

Mon 13 Jun
1:45pm
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
Ray Retrospective
Original Title
Mahanagar
Year
1963
Classification
All Ages
Country
India
Language
In Bengali with English subtitles
Director
Satyajit Ray
Producer
R. D. Bansal
Cast
Anil Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Jaya Bhaduri
Screenwriter
Satyajit Ray
Cinematographer
Subrata Mitra
Editor
Dulal Dutta
Genre
Festival Award Winners, Cinephile, Retrospective, Indian subcontinent
Company Credits
Restored by the Satyajit Ray Preservation Project through a collaboration of the Academy Film Archive, the Merchant-Ivory Foundation, the Film Foundation, and the Packard Humanities Institute. 35mm print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.
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