Satyajit Ray is one of the greatest directors in the history of Indian cinema. He was born in an affluent family in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India on 2nd May 1921. People believed that he was born an artist because he inherited artistic traits from his ancestors.
History of Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray’s grandfather Upendrakishore Ray was a famous writer, painter, violin player, and composer. He owned the finest pressing company in India named U.Ray & Sons. He also started printing and publishing ‘Sandesh”, a children’s magazine in his own press. Ray’s father Sukumar Ray also wrote articles for the magazine ‘Sandesh’.
Ray went to Ballygunj Government School, completed his further studies in the Presidency College, and later went to Shantiniketan to gain knowledge about art. When he came back to Kolkata, he discovered his interest and talent in writing screenplays. He founded the first film society in 1947. The first film to be screened was Battleship. When he was in London, he saw the film ‘Bicycle Thief’. It made him believe that movies could be made realistic and in actual locations.
Satyajit Ray’s rise to glory
Satyajit Ray was one of the finest directors. His work was commended both nationally as well as internationally. His first-ever hit film was Pather Panchali (the song of the little road) which was released in Calcutta in 1955. It was actually the first part of the Apu trilogy with two more to come. Then came Aparajito (The Unvanquished) followed by Apur Sansar (The World of Apu). Pather Panchali won the “Best Human Document” at the Cannes Festival. He received awards in other countries and at home. This film set his mark as a world-class director.
His political film Pratidwandi (The Adversary) broke records in 1970. This film is relatable even to the current generation of youths. It experimented with various techniques like photo-negative flashbacks. Most of Ray’s work reflected the issues faced by the middle-man and human conditions. In 2004, he was in 13th place in the Greatest Bengali of all time in the BBC poll.
Awards received by Satyajit Ray
In 1965, Ray received the Padma Bhushan from the Indian government. After that, he received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985. India awarded hi Bharat Ratna shortly before his death. In total, he received 36 National Film Awards. Speaking of international, he received the Honorable Prize for his contribution to cinema from Oxford University.
Satyajit Ray as described by others
Dhritiman Chatterjee, who made his debut in Ray’s Pratidwandi said, “Ray was a practical man. He worked on the theme of the human condition and avoided complex themes because the money producer invested in a film should return to make the next film.”
Completing the 100th birth anniversary, Ray is an idol to all the directors who emerged after his death or even during his time. His work is still recognized worldwide. To honor him, Netflix released the show ‘Ray’ on the 25th of June,2021.