Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players) 1977 All Ages
6.00PM Wed 13 Dec 2017
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
It's a very, very complex mixed kind of thing, the entire British heritage in India. I think many of us owe a great deal to it. I'm thankful for the fact that at least I'm familiar with both cultures and it gives me a very much stronger footing as a filmmaker, but I'm also aware of all the dirty things that were being done. I really don't know how I feel about it.
The Chess Players will screen from an archival 35mm film print.
The Chess Players is Satyajit Ray's biting political satire set in the North Indian province of Oudh in 1856, one year prior to the Indian Rebellion of 1857. India is under the heavy influence of capitalist empire-building giant, the British East India Company and Oudh's rulers are indifferent to the slow takeover of their state as long as their status quo is unruffled.
At the heart of the story are two landlords, comfortable in their inherited wealth - Mirza Sajjad Ali and Mir Roshan Ali, who bury themselves in their passion for the game of chess while their marriages and their real worlds crumble. The Chess Players was Satyajit Ray's most commercially successful film in India and was a much higher budget than the director usually undertook. The film boasts an array of accomplished acting talent including Bollywood stars Sanjeev Kumar and Saeed Jaffrey, as well as British actor Richard Attenborough who appears as the scheming General James Outram.
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 125 MINUTES, INDIA, HINDI/URDU/ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: SATYAJIT RAY / PRODUCER: SURESH JINDAL / SCRIPT: SATYAJIT RAY, JAVED SIDDIQUI, SHAMA ZAIDI / SCREENPLAY FROM THE SHORT STORY OF THE SAME TITLE BY PREM CHAND / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SOUMENDU ROY / EDITOR: DULAL DUTTA / CAST: SANJEEV KUMAR, SAEED JAFFREY, SHABANA AZMI, RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH / MUSIC: SATYAJIT RAY / PRODUCTION COMPANY: DEVKI CHITRA / PRINT SOURCE: ACADEMY FILM ARCHIVE / RIGHTS: DEVKI CHITRA / SCREENING FORMAT: 35MM