PATHER PANCHALI


Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 




India, 1955, 112 min

Shown in 1957 / 1992 / 1997 / 2007

CREDITS

dir
Satyajit Ray
prod
Satyajit Ray
scr
Satyajit Ray
cam
Subrata Mitra
editor
Dulal Dutta
mus
Ravi Shankar
cast
Kanu Banerji, Karuna Banerji, Chunibala Devi, Subir Banerji, Runki Banerji, Umas Das Gupta, Reva Devi, Rama Gangopadhaya

OTHER

prod co
Government of West Bengal
source
Edward Harrison (1958 USA subtitled) Merchant Ivory Productions (1995 USA theatrical restored version). Sony Pictures Classics (1995 USA theatrical re-release), 550 Madison Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10022. FAX: 212-833-7911.
gga award
Best Film / Satyajit Ray, Best Director: 1957
premiere
U.S. Premiere

COMMENTS

Screened instead of originally scheduled Aparajito, December 8, 1957. In 1992, shown on occasion of Kurosawa Award honoring Ray, who died before he could attend the Festival. Screened when Philip Kaufman selected the film as a part of the Indelible Images series in 1997. Screened at the 50th SFIFF in 2007.
Pather Panchali

Revered filmmaker Satyajit Ray's 1955 masterpiece—about a young boy living on the borderline of poverty in a small Bengali village—ushered in a new era of Indian cinema, breaking through at a time when his country’s film industry was almost completely dominated by formulaic, escapist, musicals in Hindi. Ray, hailed by film critic Pauline Kael as "possibly the most unembarrassed and natural of directors," overcame great obstacles to shoot Pather Panchali, his debut film and the first in a trilogy based on a popular book by Bhibuti Bashan Bannerjee. The title means "little song of the road," and the motif throughout Pather Panchali is one of travel, of striving beyond the confines of that little village and the impoverishing forces that hold Apu (Subir Bannerjee) to his rural community. While the story revolves around Apu and his immediate family, one of the most riveting characters in the film is the ancient, parasitic, storytelling relative (played by the 80-year-old Chunibala Devi—lured out of a 30-year retirement by the wages that paid for the potent narcotics she reportedly used daily). When first shown 40 years ago, this family saga was a revelation, and its success was instrumental in creating what we now call an international cinema. In 1962, Pather Panchali was chosen as a runner-up in the prestigious Sight and Sound top 10 films of all time.