Satyajit Ray’s ‘cruellest’ film to date, Sadgati, is 40: The searing Om Puri starrer holds up the mirror to Dalit atrocities
Satyajit Ray asked Om Puri to walk gingerly into the priest’s house in Sadgati’s first scene. Puri didn’t know what gingerly meant, so Ray said, “When a dog or a goat enters an unknown house, he enters gingerly.” That anthropomorphic instruction acquires an unsettling resonance in the film’s climax.
Written by Shaikh Ayaz
Much of the mythology around Satyajit Ray tends to focus on the acclaimed Apu trilogy, Charulata, Mahanagar, Jalsaghar, Nayak, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne and so on. By some accounts, the legendary auteur’s own personal favourites were Charulata and Aranyer Din Ratri. 1981’s scathing Sadgati, with Om Puri and Smita Patil as leads, is rarely mentioned in the same breath and yet, it remains one of Ray’s most powerful broadsides against the caste system. Having the distinction of being Doordarshan’s first colour outing, Sadgati is 40 years old today but it’s message is still relevant. Caste-ridden violence of the kind that Sadgati denounces continues to be one of India’s great social evils even in the digital age.
Courtesy : TIE
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