Songs of the road on screen in Vail Valley |

Songs of the road on screen in Vail Valley

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – One of the first films ever made in India, “Pather Panchali” is still known as one of the most important Indian films of all time, and it will be shown in Colorado’s Vail Valley Wednesday.

In 1955,-the director and screenplay writer, Satyajit Ray set on a mission to make the screenplay of the Indian classic novel written by Bibhutibhushan Banerjee. Ray was so passionate about the story, he began borrowing money against his insurance policies to begin production. To make ends meet, his cast and crew were all novices. However, the resulting film was a major success. The actors portrayed honest and clear emotions that drew funding and critical acclaim including awards from the Cannes Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival and the BAFTA Awards.

“Pather Panchali,” which means Songs of the Little Road in Bangla, follows a poor Brahmin family in the early part of the century in Bengal. In spite of many hardships and the detailed account of what they must endure, the film leaves one moved, filled with the beauty and subtle radiance of life. The film suggests an intimate relationship between loss and growth or destruction and creation. Not suprisingly, this is why the Cannes Film Festival awarded the film with its “Best Human Document” award.

“When creating this season’s film series, we reflected on the season’s theme of rethink. This film instantly came to mind,” said film critic Walter Chaw, who will introduce the film and lead a discussion after the movie.

“We are going away from what people were familiar with in terms of, say, what Indian cinema really looks like after the success of something like ‘Slumdog Millionaire.'”

“When you are able to look at something different from the way you viewed it before you are really learning,” said Carrie Marsh, executive director of the Vail Symposium. “Earlier in the season, our Active Minds series focused on the historical aspects of this important country. India is increasingly important to the United States through its trade, business development and large economy. Seeing where it started through the eyes of this film is an interesting way to understand this developing country.”

To enjoy this film, join the Vail Symposium at the Vilar Performing Arts Center Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for a pre-film reception that will include tastes of India made by Chef Jenna Johansen of Dish. The film will begin at 7 p.m.

Visit or call 970-476-0954 for more information.

What: “Pather Panchali” shows at Beaver Creek Film Series

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

When: Wednesay. The pre-performance reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and the film begins at 7 p.m.

Cost: $11

More information: Visit or call 970-476-0954

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