"Pather Panchali" Is Released

Pather Panchali IPA: [pɔt̪ʰer pãtʃali], English: Song of the Little Road) (1955) is a Bengali feature film directed by Satyajit Ray and produced by the Government of the Indian state of West Bengal.

Based on the Bengali novel Pather Panchali by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, the film was the directorial debut of Satyajit Ray. The first film of The Apu Trilogy, it depicts the childhood of the protagonist Apu in the rural countryside of Bengal in the 1920s.

Pather Panchali (Father Panchali), Indian director Satyajit Ray's first feature film, relates the story of an impoverished Bengalese family. When the father (Karuna Bannerjee) leaves for the city to pursue a writing career, the mother (Karuna Banerji) is left with the responsibility of caring for the rest of the brood. Gradually, the film's true central character emerges: Apu (Subir Banerji), the family's son. Though excruciatingly realistic at times, Pather Panchali takes an occasional timeout to dwell on the purely cinematic. For example, when the mother receives a postcard bearing good news, Ray dissolves to a pond, where a pair of water skates scamper about. The music by Ravi Shankar at first seems to be at odds with the action; soon, however, we come to accept the music as a logical outgrowth of the events at hand. A multiple award winner, Pather Panchali was the first of Ray's celebrated "Apu Trilogy" (the other two entries were 1956's Aparajito and 1959's The World of Apu). The film was also released as The Song of the Road and The Lament of the Path. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide