Janus Films proudly presents glorious new 4k restorations of master filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s seminal The Apu Trilogy (with new subtitles). Frequently listed as one of the top accomplishments in the history of cinema, the trilogy helped bring India into the golden age of international art-house cinema but this restoration was long thought to be impossible, after a fire severely damaged the original negatives in 1993. Whatever was left of them was salvaged by the Academy Film Archive, and it wasn’t until the technology improved that this restoration was possible. Close to a thousand hours of meticulous hand labor were spent to rehydrate the brittle film, rebuild sprocket perforations on the sides of the film and remove melted tape, glue and wax, and suitable replacements were found for the non-usable or missing sections of the original negatives.
Based on two books by Bibhutibhusan Banerjee, The Apu Trilogy follows one indelible character, a free-spirited child in rural Bengal who matures into an adolescent urban student and finally a sensitive man of the world. The films, shot over the course of five years, are among the most visually radiant, richly humane movies ever made – essential works for any film lover. The films will open on Friday, May 8 at Film Forum in New York City followed by a national release.
Here’s what critics around the world had to say about the film:
“One of the great cinematic experiences of my life.” –Martin Scorsese
“Never having seen a Satyajit Ray film is like never having seen the sun or moon.” –Akira Kurosawa
“Remains in the mind of the moviegoer as a promise of what film can be.” –Roger Ebert