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Paul Jensen

PATHER PANCHALI (1955) 4 stars

Forget Bollywood, this is as real as cinema gets. This is the film that introduced Western audiences to Indian cinema. Ray was heavily influenced by Italian neo-realism and of course Renoir. You might call this Indian neo-realism. The story of a young boy and his troubled family is incredibly moving, while being simple and beautifully poetic. Like Ozu, I adore Ray's cutaways. Life goes on and he focuses on the most intimate and natural moments in time. Yes, it's tragic but it's only the first in a masterful trilogy. Here is filmmaking as honest and straight-forward as you can get. Truly inspiring.


Director: Satyajit Ray