Devi (The Goddess) 1960 All Ages
6.15PM Wed 6 Dec 2017
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
The Goddess will screen from an archival 35mm film print
Set in 19th century Bengal in a wealthy, loving household, a newlywed couple Uma (Soumitra Chatterjee) and Doya (Sharmila Tagore) discuss their impeding time apart. Doya is a faithful and attentive daughter-in-law however her place in the household is shaken when her father-in-law Kalikinar has a vision that she is an incarnation of the goddess Kali. Young and new to the family, with little real power of her own, Doya acquiesces to the role Kalikinar proscribes for her.
Sharmila Tagore is incredible as the demure young bride Doya thrust into an impossible situation. The camera lingers on the beauty of the interiors and tightly frames Doya's expressive face to reinforce the confines of her privileged yet stifling existence.
Based on the short story by Prabhat Kumar Mukherjee, Ray boldly questions the line between loving devotion and blind faith both in a religious and a familial context. Indian audiences bristled upon the release of The Goddess, reading the film as an attack on Hinduism despite Ray's insistence it was instead a commentary on religious extremism. Later the film became more accepted domestically and was awarded the President's Gold Medal by the Indian Government.
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 93 MINUTES, INDIA, BENGALI (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/SCRIPT: SATYAJIT RAY / SCREENPLAY FROM THE SHORT STORY OF THE SAME TITLE BY PRABHAT KUMAR MUKHERJEE, ON A THEME BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SUBRATA MITRA / EDITOR: DULAL DUTTA / CAST: SHARMILA TAGORE, SOUMITRA CHATTERJEE, CHHABI BISWAS, KARUNA BANNERJEE / MUSIC: ALI AKBAR KHAN / PRODUCTION COMPANY: SATYAJIT RAY PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE: ACADEMY FILM ARCHIVE / RIGHTS: CHHAYABANI / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM