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1,473 Ratings

Pather Panchali

Directed by Satyajit Ray
India, 1955


With the release of Satyajit Ray’s debut, an eloquent, important new cinematic voice made itself heard all over the world. A depiction of rural Bengali life in a style inspired by Italian neorealism, this naturalistic but poetic evocation follows a number of years in the life of an Indian family.

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Pather Panchali Directed by Satyajit Ray

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1956 | Winner: Best Human Document

1956 | Special Mention: OCIC Award

1995 | Directors' Fortnight

Berlin International Film Festival

1957 | Winner: Selznick Golden Laurel for Best Film

National Board of Review

1958 | 2 wins including: Best Foreign Film

Each frame in the film reflects a seemingly shared state of mind of the very young and the very old—innocence that grabs a hold, understanding that doesn’t make too much of itself. Long stretches of wordlessness—as when the two children are trailed by a trotting dog, their mini-convoy reflected upside down in a river—create an environment in which the characters are not contriving anything. They live. They do. They are.
May 09, 2017
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A more pensive work than The Big City, it is the best distillation of Ray’s spirit and essence as a filmmaker. Beginning what became known as the Apu trilogy, this poetic and touching film introduces our young protagonist, Apu, in a delightful coming-of-age story set in a Bengali village in the 1920s.
May 03, 2017
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Pather Panchali is generally a story of the loss of innocence, but Ray doesn’t structure the scene as a mere sucker punch to the glee and wonder that precedes it. Instead, he places the tragic with the idyllic to grapple with the contradictory nature of life, never ceding fully to any one emotion to better study natural responses to multiple stimuli.
November 22, 2015
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