Satyajit Ray
His Home and the World

Join us for an afternoon of talks and discussions offering different approaches to appreciating Satyajit Ray, and looking at his influences and legacy. Expert speakers will trace key themes in his work including the city and what it represents, the women in his films, the use of music (often composed by Ray himself), and the development of his distinctive cinematic language.

Sangeeta Datta is a writer-filmmaker-cultural commentator working between London and Calcutta. She had been long-time collaborator with late director Rituparno Ghosh. Her own films include the award winning feature Life Goes On and the documentaries Bird of Dusk and The Way I See It.

Her books on Indian Cinema include World Director Series: Shyam Benegal (BFI); Cinema, Gender and Art: Rituparno Ghosh (Routledge); 100 Essential Indian Films (Rowman and Littlefield) and Tagore: The World as His Nest (JU Publishing).

She has programmed the season on Tagore and Indian Cinema at BFI. She has held research and teaching positions University of Sussex, SOAS University of London and Birkbeck College.

Chandak Sengoopta grew up in Calcutta, did his doctorate in the United States and has taught at British universities for nearly three decades. He is currently Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London and working on a new biography of Satyajit Ray. He is the author of several books, including The Rays before Satyajit: Creativity and Modernity in Colonial India (2016). He can be reached by e-mail at

Dr Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram is Senior Lecturer in World Cinema at Queen Mary University of London. He is author of India’s New Independent Cinema: Rise of the Hybrid (Routledge, 2016) and Indian Cinema Beyond Bollywood: The New Independent Cinema Revolution (Routledge, 2018) – the world’s first book and edited anthology on new Indian Indie films. Ashvin is Associate Director of the UK Asian Film Festival – London and has directed the UK Heritage Lottery-funded documentary Movies, Memories, Magic (2018). He was on the advisory panel for BFI India on Film as part of the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture. His latest book Indian Indies: A Guide to New Independent Indian Cinema (with a foreword by Shabana Azmi) was published by Routledge in 2022.

Andrew Robinson has written more than two dozen books on a wide range of subjects. They include biographies of both artists and scientists, such as Rabindranath Tagore, Albert Einstein and Jean-François Champollion. About Satyajit Ray, he is the author of the biography Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (1989), which was released in a third edition by Bloomsbury Publishing in 2021; a large-format photographic study, Satyajit Ray: A Vision of Cinema (2005); and The Apu Trilogy: Satyajit Ray and the Making of an Epic (2011). He has also written about Ray for major newspapers and magazines, such as The Times, the Financial Times, the New York Times, American Cinematographer, Sight and Sound and Physics World.

Schedule of Talks:

  1. Andrew Robinson (‘A Century of Satyajit Ray (1921-2021)’)

  2. Ashvin Devasundaram (‘Ray’s Vision: Intersections & Introspections’)


  1. Chandak Sengoopta (‘The Conscience of a Humanist: Satyajit Ray and the Art of Protest’)

  2. Sangeeta Datta

There will be time throughout the day for discussion and audience questions.


The Philosopher’s Stone (Parash Pathar)
Fri 1 Jul 20:35; Sun 10 Jul 18:20
The Zoo (Chiriyakhana)
Sat 2 Jul 12:00; Sun 10 Jul 12:20
The Adversary (Pratidwandi)
Sat 2 Jul 15:10; Sun 10 Jul 15:30
Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road)
Sun 3 Jul 18:20; Sat 9 Jul 12:00; Sat 30 Jul 14:30
The Film Language of Satyajit Ray
Wed 6 Jul 18:00
The Middleman (Jana Aranya)
Wed 6 Jul 20:20; Sun 24 Jul 18:10
Two Daughters: The Postmaster and Samapti (The Conclusion) + intro by Aparna Sen
Thu 7 Jul 17:50
The Unvanquished (Aparajito)
Sat 9 Jul 15:00; Thu 14 Jul 18:15; Sat 30 Jul 17:40
The World of Apu (Apur Sansar)
Sat 9 Jul 17:50; Sat 16 Jul 20:45; Sat 30 Jul 20:30 + pre-recorded intro
Raahgir (The Wayfarers)
Mon 11 Jul 18:00
Company Limited (Seemabaddha)
Wed 13 Jul 18:20; Tue 26 Jul 20:45
Satyajit Ray: His Home and the World
Sat 16 Jul 12:00-17:00
Satyajit Ray Documentaries Programme 1: Rabindranath Tagore + The Inner Eye + Sukumar Ray
Sat 16 Jul 18:30; Sun 31 Jul 12:00
The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha Goopy (Gyne ar Bagha Byne)
Sun 17 Jul 13:00; Sat 23 Jul 12:10
The Golden Fortress (Sonar Kella)
Sun 17 Jul 15:40; Wed 27 Jul 18:00
Branches of the Tree (Shakha Proshakha)
Sun 17 Jul 18:10; Sat 30 Jul 12:20
The Kingdom of Diamonds (Hirak Rajar Deshe)
Mon 18 Jul 18:10; Sat 23 Jul 14:50
Joi Baba Felunath (The Elephant God)
Tue 19 Jul 18:10; Mon 25 Jul 20:40
The Stranger (Agantuk)
Thu 21 Jul 20:40; Sun 31 Jul 18:20

In association with The Academy Film Archive

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
Questions/comments? Contact the Programme Notes team by email