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Film 50: History of Cinema

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
3:00 p.m. Aparajito
Satyajit Ray (India, 1956)

Lecture by Marilyn Fabe

Special admission prices apply: General admission, $11.50; BAM/PFA members, $7.50; UC Berkeley students, $5.50; Seniors, disabled persons, UC Berkeley faculty and staff, non–UC Berkeley students, and youth 17 and under, $8.50.

The second entry in Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy, after Pather Panchali, Aparajito continues the story of a Bengali family after they leave their home to travel to the holy city of Benares on the banks of the Ganges. The boy Apu proceeds a little further along the road of experience and the viewpoint of the film changes with his. Aparajito focuses on Apu in his personal and human relationships, above all in his changing relationship with his mother. Ray observes with remarkable insight and discretion the theme of the sacrifices parents may make in equipping their children for a world they can never really share. In the latter half of the film, when Apu leaves his mother to go to the University of Calcutta, there is a subtle change in mood: the drama of city life contrasts with the simplicity of Apu’s background, and the characterization of Apu lies in the heart of modern India.

—Albert Johnson

• Written by Ray, based on the novel by Bibhutibhushana Bandyopadhyaya. Photographed by Subrata Mitra. With Kanu Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee, Pinaki Sen Gupta, Smaran Ghosal. (106 mins, In Bengali with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From Academy Film Archive, permission Arora Films)