‘Pather Panchali’ only Indian film to feature in BBC’s Top 100 Foreign films
In what should come as a huge surprise, at the same time embarrassment, Legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s classic film ‘Pather Panchali’ is the only Indian film to feature in BBC’s top 100 foreign language films. ‘Pather Panchali’ which stands at the 15th spot is a Bengali film written and directed by Satyajit Ray and produced by the Government of West Bengal.
The list was prepared out from a poll which saw the participation of over 200 critics from 43 countries. Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’ was rated as the No 1 film, not in the English language.
The entire process was gigantic and enormous as the 200 critics voted for 688 different films in total from over 60 different countries, from which it was then narrowed down to 100 films from 67 different directors, from 24 countries, and in 19 languages.
As per BBC, “27 of the highest-rated films were in French, followed by 12 in Mandarin, and 11 each in Italian and Japanese.”
“One statistic we noted was that a quarter of the films on our list were East Asian: that is, 25 of them were made in Japan (11), China (6), Taiwan (4), Hong Kong (3) or South Korea (1). And the winning film, Seven Samurai, by the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, was loved by critics everywhere – everywhere, that is, except for Japan. The six Japanese critics who voted didn’t go for a single Kurosawa film between them,” stated the BBC.
This represents a dire situation for the Indian films despite producing record number of films, we are nowhere near the international standard. Satyajit Ray was a filmmaker par excellence and ‘Pather Panchali’ was a film on a different level altogether.