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APARAJITO

India, 1957 (MIFF 1958, Programme 32)

Director: Satyajit Ray

This is the second film of Satyajit Ray's trilogy which began with the remarkable Father Panchali, shown at last year's Festival. At the end of part one, Harihar, his wife Sarbojaya, and their son Apu, leave their Bengal village for the Holy City of Benares. Here Harihar scrapes a living by reading scriptures; when he dies, Sarbojaya first finds work with a rich landlord, but distressed by the menial position to which this reduces Apu, agrees to go and keep house for an old uncle, a priest, who begins training the child for the priesthood. Apu, however, persuades his mother to send him to school. Advancing into adolescence he overcomes his mother's reluctance to send him to tire university in Calcutta, where he works in the evening to support himself. New interests and the excitement of city life draw him away from the village and from his mother, with whom he finds little in common when he comes home for holidays. After he returns to Calcutta, her health begins to fail, and although she knows she is dying, she refuses to send for him as he is preparing for his examinations. When he eventually reaches home she is dead. Rejecting his uncle's attempts to persuade him to stay in tile village, he returns to Calcutta.

"Few directors have fathomed the mysteries of shape, shadow, sound, atmosphere as imaginatively as Ray. The temple overrun with monkeys; the teeming streets; a crowd assembled on a landing listening to a man reading from the scriptures; the wrestler exercising his body silhouetted against the dusk and river: one is reminded again and again of Flaherty, Vigo, Renoir. This is no idle comparison. Above all, in his humanity and faith, Ray has much in common with the Donskoi of the Maxim Gorki trilogy. He has one more film to make before his chronicle is complete. Already, however, Satyajit Ray can safely claim his place beside the cinema's great masters." (Films and Filming.) Aparajito was awarded the Grand Prix, Venice, 1957.

See also...

APARAJITO

In the second part of the Apu trilogy, we find Harihar, his wife, Sarbojaya, and their son, Apu, in the holy city of Benares. Here, the father ekes out a living by reading the scriptures; when he ... More »

WORLD OF APU

The third part of the Bengali saga continues the story of Apu, now a young man living in Calcutta and dreaming of a literary career and a positive future. An old friend invites him to a village ... More »

NAYAK

The Hero is one of Satyajit Ray's modern stories, concerned with the life and thoughts of an Indian film star as he travels by train to collect a prize in Delhi. Through dreams and flashbacks, he ... More »

MAHANAGAR

Turning his back on the nostalgic past, on the lyricism of his earlier films. Satyajit Ray has produced a completely realistic contemporary masterpiece. Its theme is the conflict between the old and ... More »

KANCHENJUNGHA

The setting for Satyajit Ray's first film in colour is the beautiful hill station of Darjeeling, in the foothills of the Himalayas: a point suspended in time between modern India and the gracious ... More »

Monihara

Monihara, a ghost story based on a tale by Rabmdranath Tagore, is told by a dishevelled teacher to a silent, dark-clad figure on a river bank. Phanibhushan, a rich jute merchant, brings his beautiful ... More »

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