Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray 1955)
Presented by the West Bengal Government
Based on the novel by Bibhutibhushan Banerji
Horihor, the father: Kanu Banerji
Shorbojoya, the mother: Karuna Banerji
Durga, the daughter: Uma Das Gupta
Apu, the son: Subir Banerji Auntie lndira: Chunibala
Photography by Subrata Mitra
Music by Ravi Shankar
Script and direction by Satyajit Ray
Who is that?
That child! We won't have any fruit left
The orchard is private property, bought and paid for
lt will have to be fenced in if we're to save any fruit
There are so many thieves about
That wretched girl of Hori's
She's always taking our fruit
You have to keep your eyes peeled for her
l just saw her taking a guava and who knows what else?
-Tell her off -What's the use?
She'll take no notice of me, she's not my daughter
lt doesn't matter what we say; it's up to her mother
The mother will be shocked when she's shamed before the village
That child is being badly brought up
Can l help?
-lt's too heavy for you -l can manage
Did l forget you, Durga? Wait
She's doing no harm; let her stay
Why should she watch you eat?
Run along to your mother, dear
Did you take something from Mrs. Mukherji's garden?
What are you hiding?
Take them back to her
Then come back and sweep the yard
You're spoiling Durga
-l don't understand -You do
You eat the fruit
The fruit Durga brings you
You should know better, shouldn't you?
You think you can do as you please, living with us
-l know you -What do you mean?
You know. Don't you take things from the kitchen?
Oil, salt, chillies
Shall l look in your box?
Lost your tongue?
lt's got to stop. Maybe you'd better go somewhere else
l've stood it for eight years; my patience is exhausted
You spoil my daughter and l get the blame for it
lt's too much in my old age
Where are you going?
Leave her alone, Durga
Did you hear me?
What else did l tell you to do?
-Where have you been, Auntie lndir? -l was staying with Raghu
Then this morning l heard that Hori has...
On my way l found this child coming to fetch me
So we met
Go and see your lovely new nephew
Let me see his face properly
What a little darling
What are you cooking?
Pilau, korma... fine dishes
One day you shall cook them, or have you forgotten how?
A pity; l thought we might celebrate our son's birth
-What about money? -l shall start work next month
Landlord Ray has promised a job, doing his accounts
Did you ask about pay?
No, but l shan't slave as a rent collector for ever
The money from that job and the fees for religious ceremonies...
...will keep the family going for now
Surely you can understand that
Lucky January: the boy was born and you got a job
That's why l think we should spend a little...
...and celebrate his birth in style
lt's good for our prestige, and people will praise your cooking
-Will you be paid regularly? -Why not? Ray is a good man
You're no judge of that; you've always been cheated
What do you mean?
What about our garden?
They said my brother owed them money when he was alive
The garden paid off the debt
lf we had the orchard now we wouldn't go hungry
You should hear what they say when Durga takes a few guavas
What do such people matter? l am a scholar
Who cares about that here?
Listen to what l have in mind
l am going to write original plays and poems
l'll soon be in great demand
The travelling players need new material
Most writers are merely rehashing old stories
lf their stuff is popular...
...shouldn't my stuff be even more popular?
And as a scholar you'll be respected in the village
And you will teach the boy
lt's not long to the festival
A good match will be found for Durga
We'll have two good meals a day and new clothes twice a year
That's how it will be; my ancestors were writers, after all
l keep alive the family tradition
ln two years we'll be living in comfort, free of debt
The house will be repaired... and no more spinach every day
Wake up, Apu; it's time to go to school
Durga, wake Apu
l can't make him stir
There's not much milk; do you feed the cow properly?
How many more times must you moisten your duster?
-What do you want? -Puffed rice, please
Hand over the money, then
You've netted a fine catch
How many pupils now?
The new boy makes nine
The nine gems
What are you laughing at?
Go on like that and you'll end up behind a plough
-You were saying, sir? -Have you seen any good plays?
l did see one company
Gupe, what are you doing?
The next village has booked a very good company
l'll thrash you
They thought they'd be one up on us,
but they reckoned without me
l've booked the finest company anyone's ever seen
May l have some of your oil?
l've not put you down for a contribution...
...but l'm sure you won't forget my needs
Don't forget your friend Boidyonath
Wait, Mr. Chakrabarti
...of the company...
...sounds like thunder
Sude, come here and bring your slate with you
Bring me his slate
So this is what you've been up to
Hold out your hand
What are you doing?
-What are you doing in the kitchen? -Nothing
Nothing? Didn't l see you take something?
l have no chillies, so l thought l'd take a couple
Why didn't you ask?
Durga, come and help me when you are free
Girls of your age should help about the house, cooking, washing up...
...performing religious rites
ls it right to skylark about all day?
You must learn to cook, mustn't you?
Are you feverish again today?
Remember to drink your herbal tincture
-l'm hungry -Haven't you had your puffed rice?
There is rice for you in the bowl ask Durga to give you some.
Help me up
My back is stiff
-How are you these days? -Who cares about an old woman?
Just look at this
-lt's my shawl for the evenings -l'll buy you a new one soon
Can l have a light?
We can't afford so much tobacco
Did you ask for your pay today?
Landlord Ray has his own troubles. l might risk my job if l ask now
There must be other jobs in the town
You haven't been paid for three months
lt's the first time
You're happy to let things slide
Durga has not been well; she needs medicine and better food
Apu needs new clothes; he's going to school in rags
The house needs repairing, debts must be repaid
We owe Mrs. Mukherji five rupees; she'll press for repayment
You must do something
You won't tell mother?
She'll hear you
Halva, fudge, coconut cakes
Ask father for money
ls he asking for money? Don't pander to him
Let's follow him to the others
Let me see what you've got.
Coming to play with us, Durga?
Coming? lf not, go home, l'll be back soon
Like a sweet, Durga?
Don't give them any. lf they want sweets, they should buy their own
Tunu, come and play
What lovely beads
-Who gave them to you? -Father
Let me help you
What have things come to, when an old woman has to patch her shawl?
Durga, come here
You know it's time to do your hair
-Can you plait four strands? -Don't move your head
What dry hair, and we have no oil. Never mind four-stranded plaits
Some people are coming to see if Ranu is a suitable bride
Who are they?
Ever seen a train?
Do you know where the railway line is?
Over the big meadow, beyond the rice fields
Let's go there
Now write the word... wealth
Were you good at school?
You're so tiny; do the other boys tease you?
l'm not surprised he's left it
He gets nothing but rice, but what else can l afford?
Wash your face
Shall l fetch her toy-box?
She's not well brought up
What has happened?
Durga has stolen Tunu's beads
Don't look astonished; she is an accomplished thief
Her father bought the beads in town
Tunu showed Durga
This morning the beads had vanished
Durga hasn't been back; anyway, are you sure she took them?
Are you suggesting we've invented it?
-The string could have broken -lt didn't
We've searched everywhere
Did you take Tunu's beads?
She's a liar
Where do you suppose she got that fruit?
What's the matter? What's going on?
The garden isn't ours; it's wrong to take the fruit
But how can you accuse her of stealing something bought for money?
She's a child. Fruit has no name on it
Listen to that! The rupees l lent you had no name on...
When will you pay them back? l can't wait forever
When you find the beads l hope you'll return them
Our fruit disappears. l complain and the mother says:
Suppose the children take it; fruit has no name on it
Like mother, like daughter: a pair of thieves
Tell Durga to come in for her meal
Then came an ogress, hobble, cackle, gobble
''l smell humans! Who is awake in my temple?''
Iue Lotus Prince kept guard while Red Lotus Prince slept
And at midnight the ogress came once more
Hobble, cackle, gobble
''Who is awake in my temple?''
Give mother the fish
Put it down
Come here, l have lots to tell you
No matter what people say...
...landlord Ray is a good man
My three months' wages
First l will say evening prayers, then l have much to tell you
Today l met a rich farmer. l don't know him...
...but he greeted me and said my father knew him
He said my father officiated as a priest in his household
Now he wants me to perform the same duties
They're having a religious ceremony next month
He wants me to baptise them
-They are rich -Have you agreed?
lf l agree straight away, they'll think we are starving
Accept at once
The trouble is that some people will criticize if they know
Who will know?
You might talk; you know what women are like
l have better things to do with my time
Don't be upset. The client won't run away
l mustn't seem over-eager; he can wait until after the festival
We'll manage on my wages until then
The children need new clothes and Auntie needs a shawl
We owe Mrs Mukherji five rupees
We'll have to pay all that out of the wages
And the repairs?
We have survived the monsoon
The repairs must wait, but l'll get estimates
Something must be done to the kitchen
Don't worry. Kitchen, walls, roof, everything will be done
How many days to the festival?
Did you take Tunu's beads?
-Do you know who did? -No. Go to sleep
l have another idea for a play
l might be able to write it in a week
You once lived in Benares; did you have friends there?
l had a few
lsn't there a place by the river...
...where men recite from the scriptures?
lt's called Dasasvamedh Ghat
Let's go to Benares.
Don't the orators earn lots of money?
We can't go. How can we?
This is my ancestral home; how can l leave it?
Why not? You were away eight years before
You left me at my father's and never wrote
Then l did not know how sweet you are
Save your compliments
This is my home, too
But look at it: it's like living in the forest
At night the jackals prowl around
There are no neighbours l can talk to
You are not always here and sometimes l'm so depressed
You won't understand these things
You live in your work. Sometimes you're paid, sometimes not
l had dreams, too, of all the things l would do
Those who came before are gone
I am left behind, a penniless beggar
Day draws to its close, night's mantle descends
Row me across to the other side
Hurry with the twigs, this wood is too damp to light
A new shawl, Auntie? How nice
What a lovely shawl, Auntie
Raju gave it to me, to keep me warm in the evenings
We're having a picnic; please cook something
Why is it never her turn to go and fetch things?
What's the matter?
What's that shawl?
lt's a present from Raju
A present, was it?
You didn't ask?
Why should l?
l just remarked that the evenings were chilly, so he said...
Would he feed you, too?
Don't be angry. l did ask Hori for a shawl
And as he couldn't give it to you at once, you went begging
You should be ashamed
Can't an old woman have whims?
Don't you realize that the children often go hungry?
Are you going to dress and feed them?
lf you're staying here, stop begging; otherwise, go away
l can always find somewhere else to go
Fine! Take yourself off
You'd better go; you can't stay here any longer
lt's lovely; your husband will enjoy your cooking
-When is the wedding? -l've forgotten
l know when
lt's in two months, isn't it?
-What does it feel like? -Much the same
-Tell me -You'll find out
lt won't happen to me, l just know it won't
Your mother is arranging a match, just wait and see
Raju, are you at home?
-Who is it? -Your old auntie
l wonder whether you can take me in, just for a few days?
Only a few days
l get no peace at the other place, nothing but nagging
Tell your mother that Auntie has come to stay
Bring her a chair and a bowl of water
l've nowhere to go now l'm old, so l thought of you
Beware, King! lf you utter those words again...
...l shall cut out your tongue...
...and throw it to the jackals and the dogs!
And l shall destroy you, for the good of the world!
Father, do not do it, l beseech you!
Durga, go and find the calf
Please tie this on for me
Apu, let's look for Auntie
l want you to find the calf first
Who gave you the silver paper?
-He's been at my toy-box -You're too old for a toy-box now
He took my silver paper
Go and find the calf
Dressing up as a prince
Anyone at home?
Why have you come back?
l'm not feeling very well
l'd like to spend my last days in the old home
What's the old home to you? The best thing you can do is leave
Just a minute
What are you waiting for?
Let me rest here awhile
Sister-in-law, have you gone to sleep?
Will you give me some water?
Your bowl is there; help yourself
Where are we?
What are those?
Those who came before are gone
I am left behind Row me across to the other side
Day draws to its close, night's mantle descends
Will you be away for long?
About a week. l'll call at Bistupar on the way back
lt's a good market town; something may turn up there
Look, there's father
Ask him for some money
Put the cat down and go and buy some molasses
Apu wants rice pudding; he's been asking for it for days
Give it to me
I arrived here yesterday
The rich farmer has lost two sons...
...so a ceremony is out of the question now
ut don't worry
I'll try to earn money for the repairs and then l'll return home
Do not worry
Whatever God wills is for the best Give my love to Durga and Apu
Alms, good mother
Bless you. One day you will be goddess of wealth
Why didn't you tell me?
You can't go on like this; why didn't you tell me?
After all, we're not strangers
Every day l hope there will be some news
lt never comes
Five months now without news, without letters
Let Durga come with me; l'll give her something to tide you over
-Don't be silly -l can't take it
l feel so ashamed
No doubt you are worried because I have not written for months
Anyway, l have good news: I have been able to earn money
I shall be returning home soon
Whatever God wills is for the best
Holy Pond, Flower Garland, who prays here at noon?
l, fortunate sister of my brothers
Mother Goddess, counsel me, l know not how to pray
May l live in happiness with my husband
Mother Goddess, grant me this boon
Rain, rain, go away...
Any news of Hori?
He says he will be back this month
Why is he away so long?
Have you any sago? l can let you have some
lf the fever continues to increase, apply cold compresses
No cause for alarm; just see that she doesn't get another chill
We'll go and see the train when l'm better, shall we?
We'll have a good look next time
Durga is worse; can you come?
Sweep the yard. l'm going to look at Durga
Fetch my husband; say l asked him to come
-ls Durga asleep? -Yes. Run along, dear
Mother sends these vegetables. l'll put them here
lt would fall while l was away. Couldn't it have waited?
How are you?
Are the children out?
Where are you going now? l've brought some presents
l'd have come earlier, if l could
My luck turned at Ranaghat, at long last
See what l bought in the market there a pastry-board and rolling pin
A picture of Goddess Lakshmi, which you asked me to get
A new sari for Durga
After this last year l have no affection for the old home
l don't know what we would have done...
...if you and your husband hadn't helped us
lf we had done more, perhaps you would have stayed
lt's not your fault, it's just our bad luck
Other people live here quite happily
l hope you'll settle down in the new place
These fell in the storm; l thought you'd like them for the journey
lt's only a few mangoes. l've done nothing for you in the past
You're really going tomorrow?
Yes. Perhaps we should have told you before
Never mind. l think that leaving here is a good idea
Everyone should make a move once in a while
Staying in one place makes you mean; it's done that to me
l'd like to go away, too; l'll see what my husband says
Don't put yourself out on my account
l've been confined to bed for over a month...
...so l couldn't come to see you
l'm told you're moving to Benares; is that so?
Yes, we're leaving at dawn tomorrow
You're going tomorrow?
Think for a moment, is this a wise decision?
You are Rajkestra's son, Tarkalankar's grandson
Your family has lived here for generations
We village elders still exist. You could have asked our advice
Would that have helped?
Look at the house; l haven't the means to repair it
Perhaps l should have asked for your help...
...but how long could that last?
l have been saddled with debts for fifteen years
My hopes of clearing them by selling some furniture came to nothing
l wanted to be a writer; now my manuscripts are worm eaten
l hoped to educate my boy, but it was not to be
And the girl... she is at rest
Sometimes it is necessary to leave the ancestral home
ln town l may earn a little...
...reciting from the scriptures
P S 2004
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