Directed by Jean Renoir • 1951 • France, United Kingdom, India, United States
Starring Nora Swinburne, Esmond Knight, Arthur Shields
Director Jean Renoir’s entrancing first color feature, shot entirely on location in India, is a visual tour de force. Based on the novel by Rumer Godden, the film eloquently contrasts the growing pains of three young women with the immutability of the Bengal river around which their daily lives unfold. Enriched by Renoir’s subtle understanding and appreciation for India and its people, THE RIVER gracefully explores the fragile connections between transitory emotions and everlasting creation.
Restored by the Academy Film Archive in association with the BFI and Janus Films, with restoration funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation.
This interview with filmmaker Martin Scorsese was conducted in the fall of 2004. Scorsese, a fan of THE RIVER since childhood, was instrumental in the 2004 restoration of the film through his work with The Film Foundation.
French filmmaker Arnaud Mandagaran traveled to India to make this 2008 documentary about the production of THE RIVER. It features interviews with actor Radha Burnier, director Jean Renoir’s son Alain, and Indian director Satyajit Ray, as well as archival home movies shot by the filmmakers in India.