1-World Festival of Foreign Films
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"Charulata (The Lonely Wife)"
1964
Directed by Satyajit Ray

Ray considered this film, structured like a musical rondo, to be his best work. Set in 1879 during the social reform movement in Calcutta, it tells of Charulata (Madhabi Mukherjee, in an exquisitely graceful performance), the bored and neglected upper-class wife of the reformer Bhupati Dutta (Sailen Mukherjee). Wrapped up in the politics of the times, Bhupati is oblivious to his wife's lonelines. When his young cousin Amal (Soumitra Chatterji) arrives, Bhupati hopes that he will encourage Charulata in her reading of literature; instead, she falls in love with the young man. "Gets nearer to the heart of the 'woman's dilemma' than films which see the problem in terms of career possibilities. In so doing, [Ray] has made a film that is extraordinarily contemporary" (Molly Haskell). Bengali with English subtitles.  124 minutes.



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