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NEW DELHI — One of India’s most revered filmmakers, the late Satyajit Ray, was honored on what would have been his 92nd birthday Thursday with a Google Doodle featured on the search engine’s Indian home page. The doodle shows a scene from Ray’s iconic debut film Pather Panchali, which was part of his famous Apu trilogy, named after the film’s lead young boy. Ray was born on May 2, 1921 in Kolkata in India’s western state of Bengal.
In 2011, a Google Doodle celebrated the 80th anniversary of India’s first talkie, Alam Ara.
Based on the 1929 Bengali novel of the same name by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) was released in 1955 winning various international honors, including the Best Human Document at Cannes. The film revolves around the childhood of the protagonist Apu in the countryside of 1920s Bengal. The Google Doodle shows a famous scene where Apu runs along with his sister Durga across the reed fields to watch a train go by.
Ray was inspired to become a filmmaker after he met iconic French director Jean Renoir, and he was also drawn to Italian films like Vittorio De Sica‘s classic Bicycle Thieves. Ray went on to direct 36 films including documentaries and short films. His classics including the Apu trilogy, Devi, Charulata, Kanchenjongha and Shatranj Ke Khiladi, among others. Many critics rank him among the world’s great auteurs, in the company of such directors as Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman.
Ray passed away on April 23, 1992 at the age of 70 following a heart complication. Just weeks before his death, a seriously ill Ray was honored with a lifetime achievement Oscar, which was presented to him at his Kolkata home.
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