Pather Panchali


(out of 5)

Positively stunning debut by master filmmaker Satyajit Ray, whose career to follow was rich with films as subtly nuanced and painfully emotional as this one. Apu is the new addition to a poor Bengali family, who witnesses the hardships that his family struggles through in the face of poverty and lost dreams. Apu’s older sister is a rebel who won’t conform to traditional ideas of womanhood, her exasperated mother trying to keep her in line while encouraging her husband to reach for more. Every single image is deep with layer upon layer of beauty and detail, so vibrantly alive with the nature of India’s geography that you’d swear the black-and-white photography was actually reaching out to you in full colour. Magnificent, and followed by two more films about Apu that Ray later filmed, Aparajito and The World Of Apu.

India, 1955

Directed by

Screenplay by Satyajit Ray, based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Music by

Production Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  Cannes 1956


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