(aka 'Pather Panchali' or 'The Lament of the Path' or 'The Saga of the Road' or 'Song of the Road')


directed by Satyajit Ray
India 1955


Considered Calcutta-born director Satyajit Ray's masterpiece, "Pather Panchali" is the first film of his Apu Trilogy (Pather Panchali, Aparajito and Apur Sansar) documenting the life and maturation of one young Indian boy.  With themes rooted with universal appeal and understanding we see the pain and tragedy, familial spirit and hands on tutelage of one expressively insignificant individual in our world. Photographic realism so acute you can almost smell the rain soaked Bengali grass as the raga's of Ravi Shankar play in perfect balance with cultural coherence echoing in the distance. A poignant diversion from Bollywood with its poetic intimacy and confident composure. Brilliant, intense, transcendent; cinema made with pure, honest love. out of

Gary W. Tooze

Theatrical Release: August 26th, 1955

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DVD Review: Columbia Tri-star -  Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Columbia Tri-Star  Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:06:00  
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.38 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio Bengali (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) 
Subtitles English (non-removable)

Release Information:
Studio: Columbia Tri-star Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

DVD Release Date: October 28, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Edition Details:




I haven't seen the Artificial Eye Region 2 Apu Trilogy discs so I can't compare, but I do understand that the image quality is quite mediocre bordering on lackluster. Columbia Tri-Star usually impresses as, after Criterion, perhaps the best DVD company in the world but this is a very disappointing package. The subtitles are burned in - the picture shows many damage spots ( dirt etc. ) and overall the image is quite hazy. Watching was giving me a headache. There are no Extras and a meager 12 Chapter stops. Almost insultingly the menus are (barely) animated with a transparent elephant appearing over the chapter. No liner notes. The DVD is also on the expensive side... and they went to NO expense in creating this.

I hope to compare these to the Artificial Eye versions which I suspect are about the same... maybe even superior. It is my opinion that Columbia Tri-Star really dropped the ball when they could have shown homage to one of the all-time great directors. What a shame. I give this disc out of

NOTE: I am going to look closely for PAL-NTSC ghosting and check the times as I have suspicions that they may have been ported from the Artificial Eye discs.

Gary W. Tooze

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