Female Subjectivity and the Cinema of Satyajit Ray

Online with Deb Kamal Ganguly


While mostly celebrated for Apu Trilogy (Pather Panchli 1955, Aparajito 1956, Apur Sansar 1959), the cinematic genius of Satyajit Ray equally has illuminated some of his other great films. In the occasion of the birth centenary of the maestro, four films will be taken for detailed analysis in terms of cinematic construction, along with opening up their nuanced and subtle comments on the social realities of the respective narrative times, spread from late 19th century to mid 20th century. The four films are:
Mahanagar (The Big City), 1963
Devi (The Goddess), 1960
Charulata (The Lonely Wife) 1964
Kanchenjungha 1962

In the first three films, the main protagonist is female, and those films were adapted from three great Bengali writers, including Rabindranath Tagore. For Kanchenjungha, Ray’s own story, there are several important female characters whose subjective worlds are explored within a very limited narrative duration. These films in totality provide a great insight into the predicaments of female lives, longings, emotions and aspirations covering a significant time of colonial and post-colonial history. Along with that, Ray as a great critique of embedded patriarchal values in Indian society, opens up the vulnerability of male characters and their helpless submission to the own psychological constraints.
In terms of film analysis the sessions would illuminate upon:

  • the nuance of scene construction by Ray
  • characterization techniques employed by Ray
  • culture-specific detailing
  • dialogue specificity in terms of using the resources of the language
  • relationship with the original story
  • adaptation techniques
  • temporality of certain important sequences
  • creation of the cinematic space

Mode of Interaction: Online

Four separate week-end sessions, each Session duration: 02 days (consecutive Saturday, Sunday) for 04 hours on each day. Total contact hours for all 04 sessions: 32

Deb Kamal Ganguly

An alumnus from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata. Independent filmmaker, researcher and teacher of cinematic arts. Taught for 08 years (2012-2020) and designed curriculum in Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune,  in the depts of Film Editing, Film Direction and Screen Studies. Taught as guest faculty in National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, Flame University, Pune, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar. Video work got published under special curator-ship from Lowave, Paris. Video art has been featured in the exhibition ‘Indian Highway’ and showcased in galleries of various cities of Europe and Asia. Video and film works done in the capacity of editor, script-writer and sound designer have been shown in competitive sections of various national and international festivals and received several awards, including ‘Tiger Award for Shorts’ in Rotterdam (IFFR 2007). Presented papers in various international and national seminars and conferences on various themes related to cinema, Deleuze studies, visual art, interfaces of art practices, translation studies, collective memory, Bengal studies, Media studies, pedagogy of cinema, film editing as a discipline, immersive sound etc including CARA-CIECT conference in Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg (2018), CILECT conference in VGIK, Moscow (2019), Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater (2019). Participated in international project for artistic research involving BRICS countries, being the coordinator for India (2018).

Schedule :

(Saturday – Sunday) 10-11; 17-18; 24-25 April & 1-2 May 2021; 02:30 to 06:30pm IST (Online)

10 & 11 April’21 : Mahanagar (The Big City), 1963
17 & 18 April’21 : Devi (The Goddess), 1960
24 & 25 April’21 : Charulata (The Lonely Wife) 1964
01 & 02 May’21 : Kanchenjungha 1962

02:30 pm to 06:30 pm IST

Medium of Instruction: English

Method of Training and Interaction: The session will be conducted online on ‘Google Meet’. Details will be shared with selected participants in time.

Contribution for the session: 

Indian nationals: Any 1 Session : INR 750, All Sessions : INR 2000

SAARC National: Any 1 Session : $15, All Sessions : $ 50

International participant outside of SAARC : Any 1 Session : $ 50 – All Sessions : $150

Voluntary Contribution for Aurovilians / Newcomers

Digital certificates of participation will be issued.

For queries, if any, please write to: filminstitute@auroville.org.in or call / message on +91 9969879319.

*This session is a part of our weekend series. Various other filmmakers will join to hold subsequent sessions. 

2 thoughts on “Female Subjectivity and the Cinema of Satyajit Ray

  1. I want to join these sessions. Since I am a freelance writer so I want exemption from your subscription. If you can, plz let me know.


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