The Apu Trilogy

In honor of Criterion releasing this trilogy on DVD and Blu-Ray today, I’m reposting this evaluation from this summer.

Life and Nothing More

pather panchali 1

(Dir. Satyajit Ray, India, 1955, 56, & 59)

To Live

From 1955 to 1959, revered Bengali director Satyajit Ray released three films based on two novels by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay comprised of Pather Panchali (1955), Aparjito (1956), and Apur Sansar (1959). Together the three films are known as the Apu Trilogy.


Boyhood: Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road)

Inspired by his meeting of acclaimed French filmmaker Jean Renoir during the shoot of Renoir’s The River on location in India and a screening of Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves that would change his life forever, the young Satyajit Ray decided to venture into filmmaking himself. But, defying the pervading trend of elaborate, melodramatic Hindi films popular in his native India at the time, Ray set out to channel the Italian neorealism that captured him with de Sica’s classic tale of poverty and loss. Adapting author Bandyopadhyay’s popular bildungsroman for…

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