Distant Thunder

Ashani Sanket

  • Director

    Satyajit Ray

  • With

    Soumitra Chatterjee, Bobita, Sandhya Roy

  • India 1973. 101min

  • Digital 4K

  • Certificate

    PG

Adapting Bibhutubhushan Bandopadhyay’s eponymous novel, Ray returns to the Bengal village during the Second World War, when man-made famine and pestilence killed five million people. With its languid pace capturing the rhythm of village life, the increasing scarcity of grain and prevalence of hunger dramatically shift the film’s tone. Seen through the eyes of the village teacher-doctor, the epic scale of human tragedy is all the more palpable through Ray’s focus on a microcosm of this world. It’s a masterly display of economy in an elegiac film.

New 4K restoration by NFDC – National Film Archive of India.

+ Deliverance

Sadgati

  • Director

    Satyajit Ray

  • With

    Om Puri, Smita Patil, Mohan Agashe

  • India 1981. 52min

  • 35mm

  • Certificate

    PG

Made for national television in Hindi, Premchand’s searing story about caste exploitation in rural India resulted in Ray’s bleakest film. Low caste untouchable Dukhi is ordered by an upper caste Brahmin priest to cut trees in the scorching midday sun. Om Puri and Smita Patil deliver powerful performances as the poor villagers.

Print courtesy of the Packard Humanities Institute Collection at the Academy Film Archive.