Poetry Meets Cinema: ITI APU (Bengali, 2011) - A Tribute to Apu Trilogy: A Short Film On A Poem Recited by Soumitra Chatterjee

Washington DC, August 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) You may have heard the wonderful poems written by Prithwiraj Choudhury recited by Bratati Banerjee and himself that we have featured before in this post. Prithwiraj recently got together with Mrigankasekhar Ganguly and they have created a short film directed by Mrigankasekhar based on the poem "Iti Apu" written by Prithwiraj and narrated by Saumitra Chatterjee, who played Apu in Satyajit Ray's iconic trilogy.

Iti Apu - A Tribute to Apu Trilogy

Iti Apu is a fictitious narrative of Apu, a character that helped Indian cinema and Bengali literature make its mark on the world scene in the year 1955. The world cried, held it's collective breath and admired Apu’s journey from the small Bengali village of Nischindipur to the city of Calcutta. A journey marked by human ambition and relentless personal loss. Fighting poverty and having lost his parents and his sister, Apu went against the family tradition of training to become a priest and instead comes to the city of Calcutta to get a college education. This brush with modernity creates an aspiration in his young mind and he trains to become an author.

But soon, by the quirk of fate, he completely loses his desire to write when his wife Aparna dies during child birth. In a poignant scene from the film ‘Apur Sansar’, a defeated Apu is seen consigning the pages of his unfinished manuscript to the silence of the forest. He then returns to his family and finally meets his son Kajol.

In the final scene of the film, Apu is seen with Kajol, walking along the banks of the river. Kajol reignites in his father the desire to live and the journey of life continues.

For decades now, audiences and readers around the world have wondered what happened to Apu. Did death and discovery meet at some common ground later in his life? What happened to his aspirations of becoming an author? Audiences felt that the journey was incomplete, the narrative untold.

Iti Apu, a long narrative poem written by Prithwiraj Choudhury creates a fictitious plot and traces Apu’s journey into the 1990s. Apu is now in his seventies, living in Calcutta. In a long letter written to his childhood friend Pulu, he looks back at his life and tells the story that audiences have wanted to hear.

The poem has been read by Soumitra Chattopadhay. Soumitra played Apu’s character in Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece. Like the fictitious Apu, Soumitra is now in his seventies and lives in Calcutta. The photography is by Joydeep Banerjee, background score by Shantanu Bandopadhay, Art Direction by Tapan Biswas. Mrigankasekhar Ganguly has edited and directed this short film based on the poem by Prithwiraj.

Bengali, 2011
written by prithwiraj choudhury
concept prithwiraj choudhury & mrigankasekhar ganguly
screenplay mrigankasekhar ganguly
art direction tapan biswas
direction of photography joydeep banerjee
editing & direction mrigankasekhar ganguly

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