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THE CHESS PLAYERS

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Official Screening

Sala Corinto
16:30
SHATRANJ KE KHILARI
by Satyajit Ray
with Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffrey, Shabana Azmi

( 1977, INDIA, 121')

Restoration The National Film Archive of India


The time of the Englishmen is different from Indian time. The chess rules used by the former are different, and directed at speeding up the game compared to Shatranj (Indian chess). In Ray’s masterpiece (amazing screenplay, perfectly balanced between comedy and political essay), there’s something else, too: when in power, the Englishmen tend to speed things up and invalidate treaties to annex the Oudh Kingdom. The director’s cold point of view shows inept Indian rulers and the English ruthless calculations, and no intention of giving any preference to one side or the other.

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