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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.
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 »
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
Halfway through filming, Ray ran out of funds. The Government of West Bengal loaned him the rest, allowing him to complete the film. This loan is listed in public records at the time as "roads improvement", a nod to the film's translated title. 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 »
I was collecting rents today when I met a distinguished looking fellow. He suddenly bowed deeply and said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I knew your father well. He often officiated as a priest at my house." "What's your name?" "Mahesh Biswas." "What do you want?" "I have something to ask you." "What?" "My whole family would like to be initiated next month. It would be wonderful if you could officiate." Quite wealthy people.
Did you say you'd do it?
Are you crazy? Accept right off? They'd think ...
[...] See more »
I originally saw the Apu trilogy in 1961 in a little theater in Berkley. Sat through a straight showing of all three films and walked out after six hours in awe. It was a defining day in the development of an avid film buff. I have waited three years for the DVDs to be released, and hoped against hope that Criterion would get the rights, but it was not to be. Sony has released an unadorned, Mirchant and Ivory Foundation restoration: but they are finally available. I bought all three of the Trilogy the day they were released, but have been reluctant to put them on. So many of my memories of "great" films have made me wonder what I was on when I saw it to think that was great. Think "Brewster McCloud." My experience of Pather Panchali and the full trilogy was a memory I didn't want diminished in any way. Tonight I came home from work, put the Pather Panchali in and sat totally rapt for the full two hours. The DVD production values and the print quality are really bad in spots, but all that fades as one of the really great art films takes over, and the immersion in the lives behind the film works its magic. Film doesn't have to be an act of corporate commerce: Pather Panchali is living proof that film can be a medium of great art.
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