New Delhi: Satyajit Ray’s “Pather Panchali” has been declared the best Indian film of all time by the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI).
Based on Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s 1929 Bengali novel of the same, Ray’s 1955 film marked his directorial debut and was the first installment in his Apu Trilogy of films. The film drew from the Italian Neorealism movement started by filmmakers such as Vittorio de Sica, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Roberto Rosselini.
Pather Panchali is often regarded as one of the greatest films ever made and has admirers in Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, and Wes Anderson.
The tale of Apu’s life is continued in the two subsequent installments of Ray’s trilogy: Aparajito (The Unvanquished, 1956) and Apur Sansar(The World of Apu, 1959). Pather Panchali is described as a turning point in Indian cinema, as it was among the films that pioneered the Parallel Cinema movement, which espoused authenticity and social realism.
The first film from independent India to attract major international critical attention, it won India’s National Film Award for Best Feature Film in 1955, the Best Human Document award at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, and several other awards, establishing Ray as one of the country’s most distinguished filmmakers. It is often featured in lists of the greatest films ever made.