A well-off family is paid an unexpected, and rather unwanted, visit by a man claiming to be the woman's long-lost uncle. The initial suspicion with which they greet the man slowly dissolves... See full summary »
A group of Calcutta city slickers, including the well-off Asim (Soumitra Chatterjee), the meek Sanjoy (Subhendu Chatterjee) and the brutish Hari (Samit Bhanja), head out for a weekend in the wilderness.
The story of a young boy, Apu, and life in his small Indian village. His parents are quite poor - his father Harihar, a writer and poet, gave away the family's fruit orchard to settle his brother's debts. His sister Durga and an old aunt also still lives with them. His mother Sarbojaya bears the brunt of the family's situation. She scrapes by and sells her personal possessions to put food on the table and has to bear the taunts of her neighbors as Durga is always stealing fruit from their orchard. Things get worse when Harihar disappears for five months and Durga falls ill. Even after Harihar returns, the family is left with few alternatives. Written by
A rough cut was seen by John Huston who brought the film to the attention of Hollywood. See more »
Although the film is set in early 20th Century rural India (a time in which public health campaigns presumably did not exist), when Apu and Durga are shown hiding in the fields waiting to catch a glimpse of the train, a vaccination mark is clearly visible on the right arm of Uma Das Gupta, who portrays Durga. See more »
Wandering Holy Man:
Be charitable from the goodness of your heart. If I can reach the Mother's blessed feet, I shall place them on the lotus seat of my heart. What do I care for worldly wealth?
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...it is one of those greatest works of art..so lyrical yet so composed. there is one phrase that Ray has used extensively in his writings; something that his professor use to say when he was studying painting in Shantiniketan: "look at Fujiyama, Fire within and Calm without. There is the symbol of true oriental artist..." i think it best describes Ray's work where he suggests in his cinema enormous reserves of power and feelings which never spill into emotional displays.
the strength and variety of the cinematic craftsmanship in this film can be explored endlessly, but what strikes me the most, is the way his work has confirmed, sustained and nurtured the existence of an art form, western in origin, transplanted and taking root in Indian soil. in a way pather panchali is so 'rooted'. it is so earthy and 'regional' at core and may be thats why its 'international', may be thats why, despite being the product of its time and place it is universal in its appeal. the moods and moments that he creates are simply 'matchless'. so simple, and yet so profound. the Indir Thakuran sequences of the film remain for me the highest, noblest and rare expression of art in Indian films so far (except films by Ghatak and Mrinal Sen) The film induces a kind of contemplation and a sense of wonder, about the truth, individual and privet. almost without you being aware of it it opens windows to the truth that lies within and beyond the boundaries of cinema itself.
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