Mid-Century Movie Nights: Pather Panchali
Fri, Jun 03, 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Bushel is pleased to present the fifth in the six-film series Mid-Century Movie Nights with a screening of Pather Panchali, 1955, directed by Satyajit Ray, featuring Kanu Banerjee, Karuna Banerjee, Subir Banerjee, Tulsi Chakraborty, Uma Dasgupta, Chunibala Devi.
The first in Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy, this film depicts the childhood travails of the protagonist Apu and his elder sister Durga amidst the harsh village life of their impoverished family. The children enjoy the small pleasures of their difficult life, while their parents suffer the daily inequities and indignities of poverty. The film is based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Bengali author Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, and features a mesmerizing soundtrack by sitar player and composer Ravi Shankar. Shot on location, with mostly untrained actors, this film is praised for its realism and humanity. Ray was committed to creating a cinema that presented and probed real Indian issues. Pather Panchali marks a turning point in Indian cinema as a pioneering work launching the Parallel Cinema movement that espoused authenticity and social realism. This was the director’s first film and remains his best-known.
This program is free to attend with a suggested donation of $5. Doors open at 7 pm; screening begins at 7:20 pm. Seating is limited to 30; attendance is mask optional.
Mid-Century Movie Nights is a six-film series taking place on Friday nights between May 6th and June 10th, co-curated by Cheryl Clarke and Mina Takahashi. The films, made between 1945 and 1959, give present-day viewers the opportunity to ponder the weight of the post-World War II era on its generation. From Rome to Tokyo, to the US Southwest, then to France, over to the Indian subcontinent, and back to gritty Manhattan, the films ask us to consider their subjects’ alienation, perseverance, and survival. As we witness the 1950s fascist regimes, exploitative working conditions, the loneliness of ageing, the indignities of poverty, the complexity of racial ambiguity, and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways racism and sexism play out, we ask ourselves today, what has stubbornly endured, and what has changed for the better?
Cheryl Clarke is a poet and one of the organizers of the annual Hobart Festival of Women Writers. Her most recent book is Targets, published by Bushel Editions in 2020. She spends weekends processing books in her partner’s bookstore, Blenheim Hill Books, one of six bookstores in the Book Village of Hobart.
Mina Takahashi is a working collective member of Bushel. She lives in Delhi, edits Hand Papermaking magazine, and is involved in a number of community initiatives including Catskills Unity, Delaware County Citizens for Refugee Support (DCCRS), and Get Woke! Catskills.