Sog.: tratto dal romanzo Aparajito di Bibhutibhusan Banerjee. Scen.: Satyajit Ray. F.: Subrata Mitra. M.: Dulal Dutta. Scgf.: Bansi Chandragupta. Mus.: Ravi Shankar. Int.: Soumitra Chatterjee (Apu), Sharmila Tagore (Aparna), Alok Chakraborty (Kajal, il figlio di Apu), Swapan Mukherjee (Pulu), Dhiresh Majumdar (Sasinarayan), Sefalika Devi (la moglie di Sasinarayan), Tusar Banerjee (lo sposo), Abhijit Chatterjee (Murari). Prod.: Satyajit Ray Productions · DCP. Bn.
With Ray, the desire to put man in his physical environment means that the viewer finds a film like Pather Panchali, where nature is the star, more poetic. Apur Sansar couldn’t have such simplicity. Ray describes human relationships more precisely, questioning the difficultly of reconciling with ‘another’ world in which modernity already exists. His character, in search of work and lodgings, experiences the difficult transition to adulthood.
Ray doesn’t fail to show the persistence in India of forms of entertainment with no relationship with life: from popular theater in Pather Panchali to cinema in Apur Sansar, touching representations of a fascinating world reduced to caricature.
Because Ray’s art lies precisely in the search for poetic truth. Love cannot be expressed through the fine interweaving of dialogue or the elaborate construction of a story, but in the movement of a tilted head, a woman brushing her hair, in an exchange of looks or laughter. Without, however, there being anything neorealistic in a story that condenses within it tremendous symbolic power. Ray knows how to sum up in thirty short frames the entire business of a day and how to show the weight of expectation through the expertly gauged slowness of the camera movements. I don’t believe that he dreams of filming ninety minutes in the life of an average man. In an equally contemplative view, his landscapes – the surface of water rippled by the flight of birds, the rustling of leaves in the wind, the hum of electricity lines – echo the vibration of the iron posts in L’eclisse and its end. The clammy heat of India and its skies heavy with thunderstorms are the oppressive setting of the film, beautifully conveyed by the photography of Subrata Mitra.
Michel Ciment, Le Monde de Satyajit Ray, “Positif”, n. 59, March 1964