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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 »

CHARULATA

Charulata is based on a novel by Rabindranath Tagore. The setting is Calcutta in 1880, where the upper-class Bengali milieu, though strongly rooted in tradition, is nourished by English liberal ... More »

PATHER PANCHALI

The 1956 Cannes Festival was remarkably rich in entries from famous directors. ^ Yet-in warmth, humanity and poetic sensitivity none could measure up to the first work of an outstanding film-maker ... More »

THE HOME AND THE WORLD

In 1905, in keeping with the 'Divide and Rule' policy of India's British overlords, Lord Curzon (the British Viceroy) proposes splitting Bengal into two separate administrative units, intended to ... More »

PATHER PANCHALI

The Apu Trilogy, India's most important contribution to world cinema so far, is based on the Bengali novel by Bibhuti Bhusan Bannerji. The book contains a great deal of autobiographical material and ... More »

THE ADVENTURES OF GOOPY AND BAGHA

Goopy is a singer who cannot sing and he meets Bagha, a drummer, after they have both been driven from their respective villages. They sing and play to disperse their fears during ... a night in the ... More »

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