Now available in new 4K DCP restorations from Janus Films, Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy offers the perfect introduction to India’s most widely honored filmmaker. Ray’s work, which turned two novels by Bibhutibhusan Banerjee into three movies, challenged the established filmmaking style in India and opened up further possibilities for exportation of movies to the West. Prior to the emergence of Ray’s work, Indian films were predominantly marked by an escapist operatic style; but The Apu Trilogy innovatively brought realism to the Bollywood screen by centering on a boy born into a poor Brahmin family, and following his cycle of life.  Pather Panchali focuses on his poverty-stricken young childhood.  In Aparajito, the adolescent Apu learns to cope with death, comes to maturity, and gains independence.  The cycle concludes in The World of Apu when he marries and becomes a father himself, however reluctantly.

  • Fri., Dec. 4 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

The first installment in Ray’s seminal trilogy focuses on a poor Brahmin family in a remote village in Bengal.  While the father is frequently away desperately trying to provide for his family, the mother struggles to raise her mischievous daughter Durga and newborn son Apu and care for her elderly cousin Indir.  Although Pather Panchali deals with the harsh struggle for survival, it projects respect for human dignity.

  • Fri., Dec. 11 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Ray’s second installment is split into two sections that show 10 year old Apu and his family living by the Ganges and the adult Apu attending college and working in Calcutta.  Through both halves, Apu explores the world and learns of life’s difficulties; the minimalist style and characterization are top notch as Apu matures, grows away from his family, and learns independence.

  • Fri., Dec. 18 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

After graduation, Apu travels to a village with an old friend and saves a young woman, Aparna, from a marriage to a deranged man.  The new couple forms a loving bond, but after they have a child, tragedy strikes the young family. The trilogy’s warm-hearted and moving conclusion introduced the world to two new stars, both of whom later appeared in Ray’s Devi.