Documentary on Satyajit Ray`s Apu

Kolkata: A documentary on the fictional character of Apu in Satyajit Ray`s epoch-making trilogy has been made by Mumbai-based film historian Ashok Rane.

"Apu is one character which has remained in the memories of film lovers. Though created almost a century ago, it appeals even to the modern generation," Rane, a national award winning film critic, told reporters.

The trilogy describes the coming of age of a young Bengali named Apu Roy in the early part of the 20th century.

The trilogy comprising, `Pather Panchali`, `Aparajito` and `Apur Sansar` were completed between 1955 and 1959 and were based on two Bengali novels written by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay.

"Although Apu is a fictional character, one can see elements of Bibhutibhushan and Ray in Apu`s life. It therefore, falls short of being autobiographical," Rane said.

The documentary will also explain the making of `Pather Panchali`, the first of the `Apu trilogy`.

The documentary has Subir Banerjee, who played `Apu` in the first film, Pather Panchali, and Soumitra Chatterjee, who played the character in the third film, Apur Sansar, narrating their experiences.

"Soumitro said he was not taken in `Aparajito`, the second film by Ray who wanted a younger man. When he was invited for the last film, he left his job to work in the film," said Rane, who has watched the films more than a hundred times.

The documentary has Subir Banerjee narrating the making of `Pather Panchali` from a house at Santinektan where the film was shot.

The 60-year-old film hisorian has also taken into account the perspective of ace film-makers like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shyam Benegal and Buddhadeb Dasgupta on how they look at Apu`s character.

Currently in the editing stage, the documentary will be ready by next month.

The trilogy is listed among the greatest films of all time and considered one of the greatest film trilogies ever made which won many national and international awards, including three National Film Awards and seven awards from the Cannes, Berlin and Venice Film Festivals.