Apur Sansar (1959)

 ●  Bengali ● 1 hr 45 mins

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Rather belatedly, Ray decided to add a third film to his Pather Panchali (1955) and the initially unsuccessful Aparajito (1956). A grown-up Apu (Chatterjee’s debut), now living poorly in Calcutta and dreaming of becoming a great novelist, is persuaded to marry a young village woman, Aparna (the 14- year-old Tagore), to protect her honour when her scheduled marriage is abruptly cancelled. The two live together in Calcutta and fall in love, but when Aparna goes to her maternal home for her first pregnancy, she dies although her son lives. Apu rejects the child and tries to overcome his desperation by working in a remote colliery. He eventually accepts his son. The scenes of the young married couple living in poverty are Ray’s first major location shots in contemporary Calcutta, soon to become a leitmotif in his work. Here he also elaborated his way of weaving a complex and suggestive usage of (urban) geography into the cinematic narrative, as in the classic sequences where Apu brings his bride to their new home, a squalid room above a railway line, or the couple’s visit to a movie followed by the cab-ride home. Of the remarkable scene in which Apu reclaims his young son Kajal (Alok Chakraborty), standing in front of the river, Geeta Kapur (1993) notes: ‘He stands at the crossroads extra tall with his child on his shoulder. [B]ut there is in the very courage of this verticality a disjuncture between the future and the past, and a regret at the alienated space of the present’. It also recalls the young Apu at the beginning of the trilogy.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Sharmila Tagore, Soumitra Chatterjee

Crew: Satyajit Ray (Director), Subrata Mitra (Director of Photography), Pandit Ravi Shankar (Music Director)

Genres: Drama

Release Dates: 01 May 1959 (India), 04 Sep 2016 (Singapore)

Bengali Name: অপুর সংসার

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Did you know? Sharmila Tagore was only 14 when she made the film. Read More
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Supporting Actress





Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Art Director
Production Designer


Film Type:
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
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Very similar in plot to 'Vittorio de Sica''s Bicycle Thieves (1948), a film that Satyajit Ray greatly admired.

One of the problems facing Satyajit Ray was that showing scenes of intimacy between a young married couple - such as kissing and hugging - were strictly forbidden at the time.

Sharmila Tagore was only 14 when she made the film.

Matt Groening stated several times that Satyajit Rays Apu-trilogy were his favorite movies.

Rated as one of the best 100 films of all time by the Time Magazine in 2005.

This film was completely dubbed into English in New Tork City at Titra Sound Studios.