Directed by Satyajit Ray
Written by Satyajit Ray and Kanailal Basu from a novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhya
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental
Mothers worry in every age and place. The second part of the Apu trilogy is as beautiful as the first.
At the end of the first film, Apu’s father had finally found work as a priest in Benares (now known as Varanasai), the spiritual capital of Hindu India on the banks of the Ganges. This film opens as the family is just getting settled. They live in a humble building with some good-natured neighbors. Apu is now a pre-teen and spends more time away from home with friends. Things are going relatively well.
But Apu’s life seems fated to be haunted by loss. The family is eventually forced to move to mother’s home village in the countryside. He is trained in the duties of a priest. Then Apu goes to school and proves to be a gifted and motivated student. He graduates second in the whole district and wants to further his education in Calcutta. It pains his mother to see him go but she is prepared to sacrifice much for the sake of her son’s happiness. He is not as concerned with hers, as his studies and his friends cause him to spend more and more school holidays in Calcutta.
For me, the joy of this film is in the many small moments of everyday life. The scenes on the Ganges are magnificent and exotic but so are the quiet times at home. Everything is stunningly shot. Clearly, the story is never going to give this family much of a break but somehow it is not depressing. Recommended.
Restoration trailer for the Trilogy – amazing work was done on the films