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Patriarchy and Male Seduction: Satyajit Ray's Devi Revisited

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Mirra Richard, the pretty Parisienne, was beatified, even apotheosized, in life, and when she died a respectable nonagenarian in 1973, thousands mourned the passing away of the goddess of Auroville. This good fortune of a real life human goddess eluded the fate of a rural teenager of Victorian fiction, Dayamayi, the main character of Prabhatkumar Mukhopadhyay's obscure short story Devi (The Goddess). When it was filmed in 1960 by Satyajit Ray, Devi provoked a mixed reaction among movie-goers and critics at home––from a sense of boredom of having to watch another film on the theme of feudal decadence, albeit less entertaining, than Jalsaghar (The Music Room, 1958), to an outrage at what some felt was the film's pronounced anti-Hindu bias.

Keywords: Devi; Satyajit Ray; anti-Hindu; feudal decadence; film; patriarchy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Western Oregon University

Publication date: September 1, 2001

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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