The Apu Trilogy: Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road)

Thursday, August 13 at 7:30pm | Regular Admission Prices

Satyajit Ray burst onto the international film scene with this first film, based upon Bibhutibhushan Bannerjee’s novel of the same name. As Part One of what would become The Apu Trilogy, Pather Panachali depicts a poor Brahmin family struggling to survive in their small Bengali village.

“One of the most stunning first films in movie history.” – Jack Kroll, Newsweek

The birth of a new child, Apu, marks the beginning of new adventures – and struggles – for the family. This dense and dazzling mosaic of rural village life introduces the colorful characters in Apu’s world: his fretful mother, who tries to hold things together; his dreamer-of-a- father, who continually looks for work; his tempestuous older sister, Durga, who is accused of stealing; and his aged “Auntie” (82 year-old former actress Chunibala Devi), who eats more than her share. Meanwhile, the young, wide-eyed observer Apu (played by 8 year-old Subir Bandopadhyay) drinks it all in. Beautifully balancing the prosaic and poetic, the film depicts harsh poverty and childhood raptures with unsentimental compassion, and scenes of Apu and his sister exploring their surroundings (including Apu’s unforgettable run through a field of waving grass to catch his first glimpse of a train) are among the most beautiful and memorable moments ever captured on film. Regularly voted one of the greatest films of all time in critics’ polls, Ray’s stunning debut feature (featuring music by the legendary Ravi Shankar) brought Indian cinema to the attention of moviegoers around the world, winning numerous awards and becoming one of the first major international arthouse hits. (Dir. by Satyajit Ray, 1955, India, in Bengali with subtitles, 125 mins., Not Rated)