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Pather Panchali (English: Song of the Little Road) is a 1955 Indian Bengali-language drama film directed by Satyajit Ray (1921–1992) and produced by the Government of West Bengal. It is based on Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay's 1929 Bengali novel of the same name and is Ray's directorial debut. It features Subir Banerjee, Kanu Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee, Uma Dasgupta and Chunibala Devi. The first film in the Apu trilogy, Pather Panchali depicts the childhood of the protagonist Apu (Subir Banerjee) and his elder sister Durga (Uma Dasgupta) and the harsh village life of their poor family.
Production was interrupted because of funding problems and it took nearly three years for the film to be completed. The film was shot mainly on location, had a limited budget,[c] featured mostly amateur actors, and was made by an inexperienced crew. The sitar player Ravi Shankar composed the film's soundtrack and score using classical Indian ragas. Subrata Mitra was in charge of the cinematography while editing was handled by Dulal Dutta. Following its premiere on 3 May 1955 during an exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art, Pather Panchali was released in Calcutta later the same year to an enthusiastic reception. A special screening was attended by the Chief Minister of West Bengal and the Prime Minister of India. Critics have praised its realism, humanity, and soul-stirring qualities while others have called its slow pace a drawback, and some have condemned it for romanticising poverty. Scholars have commented on the film's lyrical quality and realism (influenced by Italian neorealism), its portrayal of the poverty and small delights of daily life, and the use of what the author Darius Cooper has termed the "epiphany of wonder", among other themes.
Salman Rushdie "the greatest movie ever made"
Akira Kurosawa "Never having seen a Satyajit Ray movie is like never having seen the sun or the moon."
Ray's Cinematographer Subrata MitraIt had never operated a movie camera before the filming of Pather Panchali. Today it is often considered one of the greatest works of cinematography in film history.
Sight & Sound, the British Film Institute's (BFI) magazine, has included Pather Panchali several times in its Critics' Polls of the greatest-ever films. In 1962, it ranked 11th; in 1992, 6th; and in 2002, 22nd. The magazine ranked the film 42nd in its 2012 list of "Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time". In 1998, in a similar critics' poll from Asian film magazine Cinemaya, Pather Panchali was ranked the second-greatest film of all time. The Village Voice ranked the film at number 12 (tied with The Godfather) in its Top 250 "Best Films of the Century" list in 1999, based on a poll of critics.
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