This masterfully crafted drama forms the second part of The Apu Trilogy. It is adapted from the last one-fifth of Bibhutibhushan Bannerjee's novel 'Pather Panchali', It starts off where the previous film Pather Panchali ended, with Apu's family moving to Varanasi.
After leaving their home in Bengal, the family have moved to an apartment in Varanasi where Apu's father Harihar (Kanu Banerjee) works as a priest. Harihar dies and Sarbajaya (Karuna Banerjee) starts working as a maid. Apu and his mother return to Bengal and settle in the village Mansapota. Apu asks his mother to send him to a school. He has an inquisitive mind and studies diligently; he receives a scholarship to go to Calcutta for further studies. Sarbajaya does not want to let her son leave but she gives in and helps him prepare to leave.
Apu (Smaran Ghosal) starts working at a printing press in Calcutta, after school hours, to subsist. He becomes more accustomed to the city life and feels out of place in the village. Sarbajaya expects visits from him, but he visits only a few times. Her loneliness and yearning for her son continue to grow. She becomes seriously ill, but does not disclose her illness to Apu, lest his studies get disturbed. When Apu finally comes to know about her poor health, he returns to the village to find that she has died. A relative requests him to stay back there and work as a priest. Will Apu given to the relative's wishes, remain in the village and accept the role of a priest, or will he choose a different path for himself?
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While the movie was not received well locally, critical reception outside India 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 Read More