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Big screen classics

The River

Jean Renoir’s visually beautiful, almost documentary-like drama about an English family living in Bengal towards the end of the Raj.

Image from The River

France-UK-USA-India 1951
Dir Jean Renoir
With Patricia Walters, Radha, Adrienne Corri, Esmond Knight
99min
35mm
Certificate U

Adapted by Renoir and Rumer Godden from the latter’s novel, The River centres on an English family living in Bengal towards the end of the Raj. A remembrance of a teenage girl’s first love, it’s unusually uneventful – the tone is often documentary-like in depicting the world around her – yet its celebration of family and friendship and becalmed acceptance of life’s vicissitudes are deeply affecting.

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