Director: Satyajit Ray
The patriarch of a Bengali family, revered for his scrupulous honesty, suffers a heart attack during a gathering held in his honor. The old man lives with Proshanto, a son who fell into insanity after suffering an accident a few years earlier. The other three sons move to the patriarch’s house to look after his health, and there the four of them will remember and relive their ideological differences. The passing of the four generations of a well-to-do family, with the focus on the third generation, is accompanied by an extraordinary use of such well-known orchestral pieces as Bach and Beethoven.
Satyajit Ray was born in Calcutta in 1921. Son of Sukumar Ray, one of the leading figures of the Bengali literary scene, in 1940 he graduated in economics from the University of Calcutta and went to work as an illustrator at Tagore University in Viswa-Bharati. He made his directorial debut in 1955 with the eponymous adaptation of the 1928 novel Pather Panchali (“Song of the Road”), which began his trilogy on the life of the young Apu, followed by Aparajito (“The Invincible”, 1956) and Apur Sansar (“Apu’s World”, 1959). This was the basis for the rise of his reputation as one of the country’s best filmmakers. In addition to being a director, he was a screenwriter, composer of the soundtrack, editor and designer of the credits and publicity material for his films. Throughout his extensive film career, Ray received as many as 36 Indian National Film Awards, a Golden Lion, two Silver Bears, as well as the Bharat Ratna, India’s most prestigious civilian award. Almost a month before his death, he became the first Indian to receive an Honorary Oscar in 1992.