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The personal favorite film of famed Bengali director Satyajit Ray (The Apu Trilogy), Charulata tells the story of the titular lonely housewife of an affluent Bengali family. While her husband spends his days toiling at his beloved newspaper, Charulata paces the confines of her mansion like a caged bird, dreaming of becoming a writer and breaking free of her restrictive life. The catalyst for rebellion arrives in the form of her husband’s handsome cousin, who inspires her to both pick up a pen and fall in love. The simple tale is sensitively rendered through Madhabi Mukherjee’s inspired portrayal of Charulata, which offers glimpses of the hidden fires burning beneath her seemingly restrained demeanor. With this exquisitely shot, deeply felt film, “Ray effortlessly transcends categorization; words like ‘realist’, ‘humanist’ and ‘miniaturist’ fall pitifully short of describing what he was capable of.”—British Film Institute.

Rights provided by Janus Films, screened on Blu-Ray.

Series Program Notes

Extensive analysis of CHARULATA on Criterion

Genres: Drama, Romance

Other Films by Satyajit Ray

Apu Sansar (The World of Apu)

The concluding part of “The Apu Trilogy” deals with Apu’s adulthood and the challenges of living in the city in poverty. Ultimately a love story, the film chronicles his serendipitous marriage, the birth of his son, the tragic disillusionment he faces, and his eventual regeneration through the love of his son. “The great, sad, gentle

Aparajito (The Unvanquished)

APARAJITO, the second film in “The Apu Trilogy,” continues the story of the Bengali family after they have left for the holy city of Benares on the banks of the Ganges. Faced with the loss of his father and the demands of fast-approaching adulthood, Apu grows from 10 to 17. He trains for the priesthood—the

Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road)

Satyajit Ray’s “The Apu Trilogy”—an adaptation of the semi-autobiographical novel cycle by Bibhutibhusan Banerjee—remains one of cinema’s most heralded works, retaining the affecting power that made it an international sensation when it was released. PATHER PANCHALI depicts a poor Brahmin family struggling to survive in their small Bengali village. The birth of a new child,