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aka An Enemy of the People 1989 99’ col Bengali d/sc/m Satyajit Ray pc NFDC st Henrik Ibsen’s play c Barun Raha lp Soumitra Chatterjee, Ruma Guha- Thakurta, Mamata Shankar, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Dipankar Dey, Subhendu Chatterjee, Manoj Mitra, Vishwa Guha- Thakurta, Rajaram Yagnik, Satya Bannerjee, Gobinda Mukherjee

Having suffered a heart attack, Ray returned to cinema, extensively assisted by his son Sandeep, with a short documentary on his father, Sukumar Ray (1987), and with this first of three features set in contemporary Bengal, addressing, like his earlier trilogy, the theme of corruption. For his first contemporary story since Jana Aranya (1975), Ray transposes the Ibsen play into the story of Dr Ashok Gupta (Soumitra Chatterjee) who protests when the holy water in a temple turns out to be contaminated by bad plumbing and produces a jaundice epidemic. The doctor meets with powerful opposition from the temple trustees and the villagers. The plot device of making the holy water in a temple the cause of disease evoked the rise of the Hindu religious right wing in Indian politics. The film is shot predominantly in close-ups and mid-shots and seems to bear the stamp of Ray’s continuing ill health.