TABLE OF CONTENTS

ART OF THE UNSPOKEN: ANTHONY KORNER TALKS WITH SATYAJIT RAY

Satyajit Ray, Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), 1955, 35 mm, black-and-white, sound, 125 minutes. Apu’s father, Harihar (Kanu Banerjee), and mother, Sarbajaya (Karuna Banerjee).

ANTHONY KORNER: I wanted to begin by asking you about the significance of gesture in your work—the idea that a movement on film, as in private life, can mean so much more than the words it would take to express the same thing. In Pather Panchali [1955], for instance, the father returns home after many years, bringing a sari for his daughter, Durga, who he does not know has died. The mother takes the cloth and puts it to her mouth as if to tear it. In that moment, the grief that is expressed is more intense than if she had shouted, “But your daughter is dead!”

SATYAJIT RAY: Well, one thing I believe in very strongly is that the crucial moments in a film should be wordless; they should be expressed through images. Gesture is one part of an image, you see. I didn’t want the mother to say, “Your daughter has died.” I wanted her to collapse, to break down, because on the day Durga

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