The Chess Players

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Les Joueurs d'échecs

The Chess Players

(Shatranj Ke Khilari)

by Satyajit Ray



Les Joueurs d'échecs

Director: Satyajit Ray

Script: Satyajit Ray afterde Munshi Premchand's novel Shatranj ke Khilari

Cinematographer: Soumendu Roy

Editor: Dulal Dutta

Music: Satyajit Ray

Art Director: Bansi Chandragupta

Costumes: Shama Zaidi

Choreographer: Birju Maharaj

Cast: Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffrey, Amjad Khan, Richard Attenborough

Production: Devki Chitra Productions

Films Sans Frontières
70, bd de Sébastopol
75003 Paris

Year: 1977

35 mm, B & W, 113 min, 
OV Hindou, Urdu, English with French Subtitles

In 1856, Luknow is the capital of the Muslim Kingdom of Auadh.
Wajid Ali Shah, the king, is more attracted by arts than by politics. Taking advantage of the situation, Lord Dalhousie, general governor of the East Indies Company, tries to place the kingdom under British rule. British general Outtram finally wins the abdication of this socalled king who gives more importance to his own pleasures than to exercising power. Meanwhile, Mirza Sajjad Ali and Mir Roshan Ali, two aristocratic friends, spend their whole life playing chess, ignoring everything else including their wives. Their passion for this game invented in India, is so strong that they don’t mind the place where to play : at Mirza’s home, or at a lawyer friend despite his serious illness, at Mir’s house or even in the village of a young boy.

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