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THE CHESS PLAYERS

India, 1977 (MIFF 1978)

Director: Satyajit Ray

This is Satyajit Ray's first film with Hindi and English dialogue. It is also his first historical film, set in mid-nineteenth century India. It is based on a short story by Munshi Premchand.

Two Nawabs, Mirza and Meer, are chess addicts in Lucknow. They play out their repeated battles, ignoring the needs of their wives and their country. The East India Company is attempting to bring their province under British rule in order to enlarge the Company's future profits. Orders are sent to the British Resident, General Sir James Outram to extract, on a trumped-up pretext, the abdication of the local king, Wajid Ali Shah.

Meanwhile the besotted chess players, too absorbed with their game and their personal quarrels, ignore the British troops that are on the move to depose their king.

See also...

JALSAGHAR

Jalsaghar is one of the few films made by Salyafit Ray. apart from the great Bengali trilogy about the life of the boy Apu. It leisurely and patientty unfolds Ihe story of the decline of the last ... More »

PATHER PANCHALI

The Apu Trilogy, India's most important contribution to world cinema so far, is based on the Bengali novel by Bibhuti Bhusan Bannerji. The book contains a great deal of autobiographical material and ... More »

THE MUSIC ROOM

This film was made between the second and third parts of the Apu trilogy. Where the trilogy shows the gradual breaking up of the simple traditional family life and religion, and their replacement by ... More »

KANCHENJUNGHA

The setting for Satyajit Ray's first film in colour is the beautiful hill station of Darjeeling, in the foothills of the Himalayas: a point suspended in time between modern India and the gracious ... More »

THE KINGDOM OF DIAMONDS

"It is an ironic comment that the major audiences for Satyajit Ray's mature works are in the West, whilst commercial interests in India limit them to a small coterie: yet his children*s films have a ... More »

The Inner Eye

A film tribute to an eminent artist Binodebehari Mukherjee of Santiniketan. The art and life of Binodebehari is unique, for at birth he was blind in one eye and lost the other in 1953. and yet his ... More »

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