Jana Aranya (The Middle Man) 1975 Ages 12+
8.00PM Wed 13 Dec 2017
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
I felt corruption, rampant corruption all around, and I didn't think there was any solution. I was only waiting, perhaps subconsciously, for a story that would give me an opportunity to show this. I felt that what I was doing in the film was right and necessary and that it was valid to the Calcutta of those days.
The Middle Man will screen from an archival 35mm film print.
During the early to mid-1970s violent upheaval in Kolkata had progressed into constant workers strikes, power outages and a time in which authorities actively encouraged students to cheat on University examinations to breed a generation of youth susceptible to corruption and more likely to become Government supporters.
Amidst this turmoil Satyajit Ray was inspired by Moni Sankar's novel The Middle Man and revisited the theme of the moral and emotional impact of work or lack of work on individual urbanites. Somnath (Pradip Mukherjee) is an honest young man and recent University graduate who is searching for a career in an impossible job market. He is disheartened to find that the only work available seems to be as a middle man who buys cheap and sells dear. It feels beneath him and his family but Somnath surprises himself by doing well in his new profession. Kolkata and its murky corruption eventually exact a moral toll when Somnath must source a prostitute for a buyer in order to secure his business.
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 131 MINUTES, INDIA, BENGALI (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: SATYAJIT RAY / PRODUCER: SUBIR GUHA / SCRIPT: SATYAJIT RAY / SCREENPLAY FROM THE NOVEL OF THE SAME TITLE BY SANKAR / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SOUMENDU ROY / EDITOR: DULAL DUTTA / CAST: PRADIP MUKHERJEE, SATYA BANERJEE, DEEPANKAR DE, LILY CHAKRAVARTI / MUSIC: SATYAJIT RAY / PRODUCTION COMPANY: INDUS FILMS / PRINT SOURCE: ACADEMY FILM ARCHIVE / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM