Satyajit Ray (1921–1992): The Apu Trilogy

One of the ten greatest films in the history of cinema … The last masterpiece of neorealism.”

J. Hoberman, Village Voice

Satyajit Ray’s unforgettable debut burst upon the Western film world in much the same way Kurosawa’s Rashomon had several years before: as a revelatory bombshell introducing a previously unknown national cinema. Based on a renowned autobiographical novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, Pather Panchali is the coming-of-age tale of brother-and-sister Apu (Subir Banerjee) and Durga (Uma Das Gupta), two children growing up in a poor Brahmin family in rural Bengal. Recounting their formative encounters with the sorrows, joys, and mysteries of life, Ray invests ordinary events with extraordinary poetry and power. Pather Panchali is a work of sublime simplicity, exquisite beauty, and heartrending lyricism, made in the best tradition of Ray’s two key influences: the humanism of Jean Renoir and the stylistic directness of Italian neorealism. The film won a special prize—“Best Human Document”—at Cannes in 1956. The score is by Ravi Shankar. In Bengali with English subtitles.

The kind of cinema that flows with the serenity and nobility of a great river … I can never forget the excitement in my mind after seeing it.”

Kurosawa Akira

I think it is one of the best films ever made. It is an extraordinary piece of work.”

Christopher Nolan

The first film of a great body of work characterized by visual beauty, humour, and enormous generosity.”

James Monaco, The Movie Guide
Media