Pather Panchali


Directed by Satyajit Ray, India 1955
126 mins. Bengali dialogue with English sub-titles

Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work. Alone, his wife, Sarbojaya, looks after her rebellious daughter, Durga, and her young son, Apu, as well as Harihar's elderly aunt Indir. The children enjoy the small pleasures of their difficult life, while their parents suffer the daily indignities heaped upon them. The first part of a trilogy, Pather Panchali is described as a turning point in Indian cinema, as it was among the films that espoused authenticity and social realism. With a soundtrack by Ravi Shankar, it is often featured in lists of the greatest films ever made.
What the Critics say:
"It is a pastoral poem dappled with the play of brilliant images and strong, dark feelings, a luminous revelation of Indian life in language that all the world can understand." (Time Magazine)