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Agantuk: Ray’s Modernist Coda

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This article will focus on the way Satyajit Ray’s films are almost invariably concerned with man’s viable connection with his society, his world, his universe. They advocate not the self’s mindless submission to contemporary society, but a new alignment between them. His heritage might have contributed to this libertarian stance. Belonging to a family with strong links to the Bengal Renaissance, Ray inherited the world-view of a class deeply committed to the European Enlightenment philosophies of progress. Expected therefore is the progressive, secular, cosmopolitan, liberal-humanist ideal of his work. Ray’s self-confessed credo is to present “not just single aspects of our life today, like contemporary politics, but a broader view of Indian history”. Hence, his persistent efforts to describe the making of a nation as it emerges from its feudal and colonial past, and embraces modernity to become a new, hybrid postcolonial society.
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Keywords: Agantuk; Apu trilogy; Satyajit Ray; postcolonial society

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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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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