Panther Panchali; Song Of The Little Road

2279. PATHER PANCHALI (1956-India). Directed and written by SATYAJIT RAY. Music comÂposed and played by RAVI SHANKAR. In this the first installment of Ray’s legendary “Apu Trilogy,” the director weaves the memorable story of husband and wife peasants in a small Bengali village. (See cat. #2276 and #862 for the other film of the trilogy). They support an elderly and frail aunt. They also have two children, a boy named Apu and a girl called Durga. The father is an aspiring writer. The narrative follows what happens when he heads for the city, leaving his wife to fend for herself and their children. The film is loaded with vividly etched sequences, from the daily rituals of life in the village and within the family’s household to the depiction of the fates of the various charÂacters. Its scenario is based on a popular Bengali novel of the same name with which Ray had become fascinated. Even though he had never directed a film, he became determined to bring the story to the screen. The first problem he encountered was funding. Ray sold all of his possessions and even pawned his wife’s jewelry in order to finance his project He began principal filming in 1952 in a small Southern Indian village but kept running out of money, necessitating his temporarily abandoning work on the film. If not for the West Bengal government’s eventually stepping in and supplying sufficient funds, the film might never have been completed. The result became one of India’s most famous films, a leisurely paced and lovingly detailed human document. Its immediate success helped push forward the career of its maker, who was to become one of the world’s all-time great directors. In addition, the film helped to introduce Indian cinema to the West. In Bengali with English subtitles. 112 minutes. Drama