Histories of the land
Enemy of the People
+ intro by Ashvin Devasundaram
In Ray’s adaptation of Ibsen’s play a doctor is confounded by a community’s unwillingness to embrace justice.
Soumitra Chatterjee, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Mamata Shankar
India 1989. 100min
A late masterpiece, produced while Ray was ill, this biting drama sees a doctor fighting religious bigotry when he discovers that temple water is contaminated and people are falling ill. Soumitra Chatterjee’s Everyman attempts to take a stand, but soon finds the entire town turning against him. Adapting Ibsen’s play, Ray made this film at a time when Hindu right-wing sentiments were on the rise and religion was blindly embraced. It’s message remains just as relevant today.
Print courtesy of the Packard Humanities Institute Collection at the Academy Film Archive.
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