20th Bradford International Film Festival

BIFF 2014 - 27 March-06 April

In partnership with Virgin Media

The Chess Players (U)

Director:Satyajit Ray
Length:124 mins
Language:Urdu and Hindi with subtitles
Cast:Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffrey, Shabana Azmi, Richard Attenborough, Amitabh Bachchan
Part of:Happy Birthday, Indian Cinema!

Screening with:

+ The Garden Of Earthly Delights (Adv. U)

This film is a collage composed entirely of mountain zone vegetation. As the title suggests it is an homage to (but also argument with) Hieronymous Bosch.

Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) was known as one of the great masters of world cinema, though with the exception of within his native Bengal his renown derived more from critics outside India than within. A parable on colonial politics, The Chess Players was Ray’s first film made in a language other than Bengali. It is set in Lucknow in 1856, just as the ruling British are about to annexe the wealthy state of Oudh. While the British manoeuvre into the kingdom to help swell their coffers, two sovereign noblemen neglects state and family for interminable games of chess.

Restored by the Satyajit Ray Preservation Project at the Academy Film Archive with funding from the Film Foundation. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.