APARAJITO (Satyajit Ray, 1957)

The middle part of the Apu Trilogy begun with Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray’s The Unvanquished is a transitional work in which two different actors play Apu, one as a ten-year-old, the other as an adolescent. The family has relocated to Banaras, where pilgrims bathe in the Ganges, and Harihar, Apu’s father, officiates as one of […]

MOTHER INDIA (Mehboob Khan, 1957)

A remake of his black-and-white Aurat (1940), Muslim filmmaker Behboob Khan’s three-hour, Technicolor Bharat Mata is India’s principal national epic in the realm of popular entertainment. It is rural, melodramatic and (in the composition of its outdoor shots depicting farm labor) Sovietist. Its heroine, Radha (Nargis, garish, unnuanced—closer to Jennifer Jones than to Vivien Leigh), […]