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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
The title is translated as "song of the little road". 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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What a wonderful film. For those who have not watched any films from India or heard of Ray, I strongly recommend it. Full of sadness, hope, innocence, and despair, it is an emotionally evocative portrait of the life of an Indian family, their trials, and their courage and persistence throughout. They go on, not because they are exceptional, but because they must, because they are human.
Ray does a masterful job of capturing the simple joys of childhood, and the ambitions and dreams which make us all human, regardless of where we are. Simple scenes such as a disfigured elderly woman seated on a porch, singing of her approaching death, are very moving. I have never seen the basic elements of life treated with such an incisive yet soft touch as Ray has in this film. It is wonderful to watch in comparison to the broad writing strokes and vulgar generalities of most directing and writing today. At the risk of sounding trite, this is a film which is not merely entertainment or art, but one which reaches into your heart and makes a place for itself there. It belongs there.
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