Past Meetup

The Big City (1963) Dir: Satyajit Ray

This Meetup is past

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Part of a new season of the complete works of the great Indian director, Satyajit Ray, this is a rare chance to see this tale of family and city life is set in mid-50s Calcutta.

Subrata Mazumdar (Anil Chatterjee), a young bank clerk struggling to support his family on a meagre salary, is horrified when his wife Arati (a ravishing performance from Madhabi Mukherjee) dares to challenge his cherished belief that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’. She not only takes a job but proves a huge success, relishing her independence and thoroughly upsetting the family dynamic. Bengali star Mukherjee, working with Ray for the first time, confessed herself ‘stunned’ by his extraordinary ‘woman-centred’ screenplay, so different from anything she had previously encountered. Yet, for all his focus on Arati, Ray – who is renowned for his breadth of sympathy – also deploys warmth, humour and acute psychological insight in his depiction of Arati’s conservative father-in-law, her studious teenage sister-in-law and her benevolently despotic boss. Newly restored and re-released to mark its fiftieth anniversary, The Big City with its emphasis on conflicting social values – and most particularly the role of women – still feels sharply relevant.

You're recommended to buy your ticket in advance from the BFI Box Office or online. We'll be attending the 3.15 screening. Please note that this meetup in on a Saturday, not out usual Sunday.

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