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The Big City
Satyajit Ray, 1963

Streaming on The Criterion Channel

In Satyajit Ray’s gorgeously choreographed domestic drama, a woman in 1960s Kolkata takes up a job to help her household meet ends. Attuned to the redemptive, capacious complexity of individuals, Ray traces a wife’s self-awakening and a husband’s crisis of masculinity without the essentialisms that often plague such narratives today. In The Big City, the intimacies of family are political—always inflected by the materialities of space and class—and love is a kind of solidarity: a force that can galvanize, against all odds, hope for a better world.