Aparajito (1956)

/ 10
8 User Ratings
1h 50m
Running Time

October 11, 1956
Release Date

Aparajito (1956)

/ 10
8 User Ratings
1h 50m
Running Time

October 11, 1956
Release Date

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Aparajito picks up where the first film leaves off, with Apu and his family having moved away from the country to live in the bustling holy city of Varanasi (then known as Benares). As Apu progresses from wide-eyed child to intellectually curious teenager, eventually studying in Kolkata, we witness his academic and moral education, as well as the growing complexity of his relationship with his mother. This tenderly expressive, often heart-wrenching film, which won three top prizes at the Venice Film Festival, including the Golden Lion, not only extends but also spiritually deepens the tale of Apu. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 1996.

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Release Date
October 11, 1956

Original Name


Running Time
1h 50m

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Aparajito (Bengali: অপরাজিত Ôporajito; The Unvanquished) is a 1956 Indian Bengali-language drama film written and directed by Satyajit Ray, and is the second part of The Apu Trilogy. It is adapted from the first half of Bibhutibhushan Bannerjee's novel Aparajito. It starts off where the previous film Pather Panchali (1955) ended, with Apu's family moving to Varanasi, and chronicles Apu's life from childhood to adolescence in college.

When Ray started making Pather Panchali, he had no plans of following it up with a sequel. The critical and commercial success of the film prompted him to start making Aparajito. Unlike his previous venture, where he stayed faithful to the novel, Ray took some bold artistic decisions here, such as portraying the relationship between Apu and his mother in a very different manner from the book. As a result, in contrast to its predecessor, the film was not received well locally; Ray recalled that "as for the suburban audience, it was shocked by the portrayal of the mother and son relationship, so sharply at variance with the conventional notion of mutual sweetness and devotion".Critical reception outside of India, however, was overwhelmingly positive. It won 11 international awards, including the Golden Lion and Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival, becoming the first ever film to win both. Veteran film-maker Mrinal Sen said he considers it to be one of the best Indian movies he had ever seen. Bosley Crowther said that "it is done with such rare feeling and skill at pictorial imagery, and with such sympathetic understanding of Indian character on the part of Mr. Ray, that it develops a sort of hypnotism for the serene and tolerant viewer". The critical acclaim this movie received encouraged Ray to make another sequel, Apur Sansar (1959), which was equally well received, and thus concluded one of the most critically acclaimed movie trilogies of all time, as Roger Ebert later pointed out: "The three films ... swept the top prizes at Cannes, Venice and London, and created a new cinema for India – whose prolific film industry had traditionally stayed within the narrow confines of swashbuckling musical romances. Never before had one man had such a decisive impact on the films of his culture".

The Apu Trilogy.

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