By the Book
Directed by Satyajit Ray • 1955 • India
Starring Subir Banerjee, Kanu Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee
With the release in 1955 of Satyajit Ray’s debut, PATHER PANCHALI, an eloquent and important new cinematic voice made itself heard all over the world. A depiction of rural Bengali life in a style inspired by Italian neorealism, this naturalistic but poetic evocation of a number of years in the life of a family introduces us to both little Apu and, just as essentially, the women who will help shape him: his independent older sister, Durga; his harried mother, Sarbajaya, who, with her husband away, must hold the family together; and his kindly and mischievous elderly “auntie,” Indir—vivid, multifaceted characters all. With resplendent photography informed by its young protagonist’s perpetual sense of discovery, PATHER PANCHALI, which won an award for Best Human Document at Cannes, is an immersive cinematic experience and a film of elemental power.
Up Next in By the Book
Directed by Satyajit Ray • 1956 • India
Starring Pinaki Sengupta, Kanu Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee
Satyajit Ray had not planned to make a sequel to PATHER PANCHALI, but after the film’s international success, he decided to continue Apu’s narrative. APARAJITO picks up where the first film leaves of...
The Burmese Harp
Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1956 • Japan
Starring Rentaro Mikuni, Shoji Yasui, Taniye Kitabayashi
An Imperial Japanese Army regiment surrenders to British forces in Burma at the close of World War II and finds harmony through song. A private, thought to be dead, disguises himself as a Buddhist mo...
Directed by Satyajit Ray • 1959 • India
Starring Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore, Alok Chakraborty
By the time APUR SANSAR was released, Satyajit Ray had directed not only the first two Apu films but also the masterpiece THE MUSIC ROOM, and was well on his way to becoming a legend. This ext...