Days and Nights in the Forest (Aranyer Din Ratri)
Sharmila Tagore, Kaberi Bose, Simi Garewal, Soumitra Chatterjee, Subhendu Chatterjee
This masterpiece by Satyajit Ray is a splendid summation of the images and themes of our tribute to the cinema of West Bengal. As the title suggests, one major setting is a forest, rendered in dappled light by director of photography Soumendu Roy. Here, as in Nirjan Saikate, is a group of people on a journey; here also is Sharmila Tagore in 1970, when she was the queen of Indian film and incredibly beautiful. We are treated to the languor of long hot Indian afternoons, and a master filmmaker channelling both Jean and Pierre August Renoir. Though the film is nearly 40 years old, it feels more than relevant to presentday India. Its four middle-class Bengalis, with their talk of “rough” villagers and Burt Lancaster movies, are a hair’s breadth away from today’s Mumbai nouveau riche. Ray skewers their snobbery and ennui, telling the Chekovian story of their interaction in brilliant sunlight and bold wide-angle compositions, all the better to reveal their vanity and fear.
2013 Festival Diary:
Click on a day to highlight movies on that day.
Share this page
Share this Film Festival page with your friends and family.
Find Films By Strand
EIFF is split into Strands. Use them to help find your films.