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Agantuk (The Stranger)

Poster designed by Satyajit Ray  

Year 1991
Producer National Film Development Corporation of India
Distributor National Film Development Corporation of India
Screenplay Satyajit Ray
Based on The short story Atithi by Satyajit Ray
Photography Barun Raha
Editor Dulal Dutta
Art Director Ashoke Bose
Music Satyajit Ray
Songs S. Banerjee
Sound Sujit Sarkar
Length 119 min.
Print Color

Cast:

Manomohan Mitra Utpal Dutt
Anila Bose Mamata Shankar
Subindrha Bose Deepankar De
Satyaji Bikram Bannerjee
Prithwish Sen Gupt Dhritiman Chatterjee
Ranjan Rakshit Rabi Ghosh
Chanda Rakshit Subrata Chatterjee
Tridib Mukherjee Promod Ganguli
Sital Sarkar Ajit Banerjee

A long-lost uncle, a stranger to the family who has almost been given up for dead, signals his existence in a letter expressing his desire to spend a few days in Calcutta with his niece. Driven by the suspicions of the husband, the family thinks he might be an impostor, if not a common thief, who may have come to claim an inheritance. The uncle, a world traveller, is put to the test by various bhadralok, friends who try to probe him: is he really the uncle or only pretending to be him? When questioned by a lawyer friend, the uncle shows legal acumen in defending himself. The niece's little boy has accepted the uncle from the start. The niece also gradually comes to accept him, whereas her husband, like everyone else, cannot understand this mysterious visitor. The uncle departs as abruptly as he arrived, leaving some wise observations on the qualities of "civilization" and human nature.

An emotionally charged film, Ray literally, plants his own voice in it. He briefly sings three times in place of the enunciator-protagonist. The film voices his global concerns; against narrowness of all sorts, against boundaries, borders and barriers.