Bengal (India) -- Social life and customs -- Drama, Boys -- Drama, Family life -- India -- Drama

Pather Panchali

(Song of the Road)

Digital Restoration


Kanu Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee, Subir Banerjee, Uma Das Gupta,

The first film in Satyajit Ray’s celebrated Apu Trilogy centers around the boy Apu’s impoverished Brahmin family living in their ancestral village in rural Bengal. The father is a would-be poet, playwright, and priest; the mother, a realist terrorized by wicked neighbors and the prospect of tomorrow. In his quiet optimism and her despair, the family’s days obtain an ongoing rhythm. But the film’s unlikely driving force is found in Apu’s sister Durga, who will steal all she can of life before death steals her; and in an ancient “Auntie,” despised for clinging to life like a withering vine. Ravi Shankar’s original score is the musical equivalent of Ray’s completely visual storytelling, which is so liquid, so purely cinematic, it’s strange to remember that it was based on a well-known 1928 novel. At Cannes this low-budget independent first film won a special prize—Best Human Document. It is still that.

Judy Bloch
  • Satyajit Ray
Based On
  • the novel by Bibhutibhushana Bandyopadhyaya

  • Subrata Mitra
  • Bengali
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 125 mins
  • Janus Films/Criterion Collection

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Pather panchali (program note), San Francisco International Film Festival, 2007

Pather panchali (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, 2000

Pather panchali (program note), San Francisco International Film Festival, 1997

Pather panchali (article), Reader (Chicago, Ill.), Jonathan Rosenbaum, 1995

The hunger artist (article), Village Voice, J. Hoberman, 1995

Satyajit Ray (program note), San Francisco International Film Festival, 1992

Pather panchali (program note), San Francisco International Film Festival, 1992

Satyajit Ray retrospective (booklet), Bengal Association, 1981

Pather panchali (program note), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1981

Satyajit Ray at UC (article), 1975

Displaying 10 of 38 publicly available documents.

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