Pather Panchali | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Pather Panchali 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

In 1955, the year Satyajit Ray's beautiful first feature, Pather Panchali, won the grand prix at Cannes, no less a humanist than Francois Truffaut walked out of a screening declaring, "I don't want to see a film about Indian peasants." Time and critical opinion have been much kinder to this family melodrama--derived, like its successors in the Apu trilogy, Aparajito and The World of Apu, from a 30s novel by Bibhutibhusan Banerjee--than to Truffaut's remark. Yet there's no question that Ray's contemplative treatment of a poor Brahmin family in a Bengali village, made on a small budget and accompanied by the mesmerizing music of Ravi Shankar, is a triumph of mood and character rather than an exercise in brisk Western storytelling. This new print launches an exciting retrospective of Ray's important, long-unavailable work, perhaps the closest thing to a genuinely "classical" and novelistic oeuvre in the Indian cinema. Music Box, Friday through Thursday, August 11 through 17.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
FÊTE GALANTE Heaven Gallery
September 18
Performing Arts
Riff Mission Theater at iO Chicago
June 08

Popular Stories