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Apu Trilogy: Apur Sansar

(The World Of Apu)

Must-See Cinema! From a newly restored 4K print!

In The World of Apu, the third film in his Apu Trilogy, the late Indian film maker Satyajit Ray offers a rich, sympathetic portrait of his title character as an adult -- struggling with artistic aspirations, stumbling into an arranged marriage and finding his way as the grieving father of a young son.

Poster for restored re-issue of The Apu TrilogyPlayed by Soumitra Chatterjee, who later acted in several other Ray films, Apu has grown beyond the village of his boyhood in Pather Panchali and the university career he pursued in Aparajito. Living in Calcutta, he dreams of a writing career, falls behind on his rent and one day attends the wedding of his best friend's sister, Aparna.

When the groom is found to be insane, Apu immediately is recruited to step in. According to Hindu custom, if the bride is not wed at the scheduled hour she will remain unmarried for life. To his surprise, Apu grows to love his sweet, adolescent bride (played by the surpassingly beautiful Sharmila Tagore, who was only 14 at the time).

In what may be the most gorgeous moment in any Ray film, Apu and his bride stand tentatively, nervously around the canopy bed that's been festooned with flowers and incense for their wedding night. They're strangers, and virgins to boot, and have no sense of how to behave or approach each other.

In that scene, the screen seems to shimmer with truth and simplicity and Ray's appreciation for the tenderness in his characters. Magic is a word that's tossed about much too liberally, but that's precisely what happens when Ray fixes his camera on Tagore's shy, exquisite face.

When Aparna goes to her parents' home to have her child and dies in childbirth, Apu is decimated and decides not to see the son who, he believes, killed his beloved wife. Years go by before Apu visits his dead wife's family, and father and son make their bond at last.

Through tragedy and desolation, Ray demonstrates, wisdom and acceptance are discovered. Even with an apparently insupportable loss, the potential for joy remains. Simple truths, exquisitely told: That's why the Apu Trilogy, decades years after its completion, remains one of the screen's great gifts.

– Edward Guthmann, The San Francisco Chronicle

The final film in Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy.
Don't miss your chance to see the first two films,
Pather Panchali (October 4 & 5)
Apajarito (October 12 & 13).

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