Ray's classics, "Rudali" to be screened at India fest in US

Dimple Kapadia in Rudali

The films have been chosen from the archives of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) to be shown at the High Museum.

The High's curator of media arts Linda Dubler partnered with A Agnihotri, director of the Indo-American Film Society, to choose the films represented this year, a statement said.
The inaugural film of the festival is "Dance of the Wind." Director Rajan Khosa's first feature centres on Pallavi, a singer of classical Hindustani music who is unable to perform after the death of her mother.

Ray's last film "Agantuk", an amalgam of family drama and mystery and a commentary on Indian society, will be the highlight of day two.

The film follows middle-class housewife Anila, who receives a letter from a man claiming to be her uncle. The story of a woman torn between familial impulses and doubts, this film shows all the virtues of a master artist in full maturity.

"Pather Panchali", Ray's magnum opus, has been preserved by the Satyajit Ray Preservation Project at the Academy Film Archive. Acknowledged as a masterpiece of humanist cinema, this film remains in the mind of the moviegoer as a promise of what movie can be.

Kalpana Lajmi's "Rudali" is a stunningly-photographed drama set in rural Rajasthan that introduces viewers to the Indian tradition of professional mourners, women who are paid to theatrically lament at funeral rites while the much-acclaimed "Salaam Bombay" by Mira Nair captures the teeming streets of Mumbai and the lives of its forgotten children.

K M Madhusudhanan's "Bioscope" that tells of Diwakaran, who in the early 20th century purchases a bioscope film projector and tours local villages showing his films will conclude the festival on September 13.

The other films to be screened are Piyush Jha's "Chalo America", J Mahendran's "Sasanam", Jahar Kanugo's "Nishabdha", Roopa Swaminathan's "Five by Four", "Sangemeel Se Mulaqat" by Goutam Ghose and "Samar" by Shyam Benegal.

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