Tagore's Women Protagonists Through Ray's Camera
Re-presenting the Shifting Concepts of History, Culture, and Identity
Satyajit Ray's cinema has consistently explored different aspects of womanhood to generate a constellation of ideas, images, debates, reflections, histories, and provocations. This is evident in films such as Postmaster, Charulata, and Ghare Baire. Situating the eye as the site of perception and reflection, Ray's films stress the important role of cinema in articulating and structuring identity, particularly that of a woman in India. The representation of women in several of Ray's films derives from Rabindranath Tagore's fiction. This chapter explores Ray's portrayal of women in Tagore's narratives, which allows him to re-assess modernity and interpret the past, explore the complex interaction between reality and representation, culture and identity, and tackle the relationship between literature and film. When the camera and the cinematic screen frame mediate our vision, what are recorded are moments of perception that suggest insights into cultural history.
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