The Apu Trilogy is three movies made in the 1950’s by Indian Satyajit Ray. The wikipedia entry has the details. The movie is in the same vein as Italian Realism: it uses regular people – not professional actors – portraying people just like themselves.
Over the course of five hours and 45 minutes we are treated to slices of life – of Apu’s life, and the lives around him – stretching from just before his birth to when he reaches true manhood – a true completeness and fulfillment in his life.
It’s a beautiful film – wonderfully composed visually – and mostly sweetly sad. For me, there was a huge wonder seeing India and Indian life like I had never seen it before – day to life in the country and cities of that time. Each scene held my interest. There were snatches of beautiful music and beautiful poetry. There were people, ancient and tiny, passionate and stoic, ugly and amazingly beautiful. For almost six hours I lived with people who were wonderfully real and who lived in a world that seemed strange and distant but now feels a bit like home.