Sahitya Wishesh - Satyajit Ray and his Song of the little road...

February 26, 2013 10:16
Sahitya Wishesh - Satyajit Ray and his Song of the little road...

The director is the only person who knows what the film is about.

-Satyajit Ray-


(Satyajit Ray)

Pather Panchali (in Bengali) Song of the little road was based on Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay's 1929 Bengali novel of the same name which happens to be the directorial debut of Ray. It was Ray's first film from “"The Apu trilogy."



The story revolves around a poor Brahmin family in early years of the century in Bengal. The father, Harihara, is a priest who is unable to make ends meet to keep his family together. The mother, Sarbajaya, has the chief responsibility for raising her mischievous daughter Durga and caring for her elderly aunt Indir, who is a distant relative and whose independent spirit sometimes irritates her. With the arrival of Apu in the family, scenes of happiness and play enrich their daily life.


(Little Durga)


(Durga- grown up)
Life, however, is a struggle, so Harihara has to find a new job and departs, leaving Sarbajaya alone to deal with the stress of this family's survival, Durga's illness and the turbulence of the monsoon. The final disaster, Durga's death, causes the family to leave their village in search of a new life in Benares.






In spite of poverty and death the film leaves one not depressed but moved, filled with the beauty, and subtle radiance of life. The film suggests an intimate relationship between loss and growth or destruction and creation.


(Apu and Durga)

Ray's comment on this film that it's true that for one year he was trying to sell the scenario, to peddle it... since nobody would buy it, he then decided to start anyway, because we wanted some footage to prove that we were not incapable of making films. So he got some money against my insurance policies. They started shooting, and the fund ran out very soon. Then he sold some art books, some records and some of his wife's jewelry. Little trickles of money came, and part of the salary he was earning as art director. All they had to spend on was raw stock, hire of a camera and our conveniences, transport and so on... He had nothing more to pawn."
As a matter of fact, the original negative of this film was lost in a fire.
Some facts about the cast and crew
1955, India. 115 min, B/W, In Bengali with subtitles.


Producer: Government of West Bengal
Screenplay & Direction: Satyajit Ray, based on the novel "Pather Panchali" by Bibhutibhushan Banerjee.
Cinematography: Subrata Mitra
Editing: Dulal Dutta
Art Direction: Bansi Chandragupta
Sound: Bhupen Ghosh
Music: Pandit Ravi Shankar
U.S. Distributor: Merchant-Ivory/Sony Pictures Classics


Harihar, the Father: Kanu Banerjee
Sarbajaya, the Mother: Karuna Banerjee
Apu: Subir Banerjee
Durga, young girl: Uma Das Gupta
Durga, child: Runki Banerjee
Indir Thakrun, Old Aunt: Chunibala Devi
Candy seller: Haren Banerjee

Highest Honour for Ray's cinematic brilliance...

Pather Panchali is today considered to be one of the greatest films ever made.

Ray was honoured with the major awards in his career, including 32 Indian National Film Awards, a number of awards at international film festivals and award ceremonies, and a Life time achievement awards in the Academy Award (Oscars) in 1992 while the Government of India honoured him with the Bharat Ratna in 1992.

The cinematic excellence of Ray has remained as a masterpiece for the cinematic world and he with his creative brilliance has shown us as to what is life all about!

(AW:Samrat Biswas)

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