Cinema: India for Everybody

Two Daughters. The magic of India's Satyajit Ray, who directed the Apu trilogy and Devi, lies in his ability to translate the life around him into such universal terms that Western audiences see his India not as a gold-embroidered slum peopled with mystics and mendicants but as an identifiable place where ordinary humans go about their ordinary lives. Two Daughters, a two-part film based on short stories by Rabindranath Tagore, is so filled with the basic stuff of humanity that with minor changes of script it could have been made in rural Louisiana.

The Postmaster is a curtain-raiser. It tells about a...

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