Analysis > Not quite Satyajit Ray’s world
  • Mahdi Chowdhury

    RE: David Lelyveld’s comment — Many thanks for reading my article and for your astute comment, Dr. Lelyveld. In April 1955, what would be ‘Pather Panchali’ partially premiers in the MoMA as “The Story of Apu and Durja” (as you mention, it was introduced to its curators and exhibited also as still photographs.) This version was partial, screened without subtitles, and I am led to believe from primary sources, without (or at the very least without Ravi Shankar’s) music. I omitted this New York episode to make this article more concise — but given how it was screened, it supports our belief that “no indication [was made] that it was from a fictional film.” As I have argued, a major source of interest in Ray spawned – not from the consideration of him as an auteur or artistic agent per say – but in his ability to capture ethnographic/documentary vistas of Indian village life (Monroe Wheeler, who was, in effect, responsible for the 1955 screening of Ray, describes it foremost as “a triumph of sensitive photography”).

    SOURCE: Robinson, Andrew. Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989), p. 87-88

  • David Lelyveld

    In 1955, before Pathar Pancali was shown in the US, a still photo from the film was included in the Family of Man exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York — with no indication that it was from a fictional film.


    Ray has been one of the courageous director and film maker who exposed reality in Indian society. His contribution to film industry is commendable

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