Distant Thunder (Ashani Sanket) (1973)

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Satyajit Ray's drama about the Bengal famine of 1942-1943 stars frequent Ray collaborator Soumitra Chatterjee as Gangacharan, a Brahmin who sets up a school in a remote Bengali village. As World War II drains India's resources, the price of rice begins to rise, and soon the villagers can no longer afford to eat. Merchants horde their grain and the impoverished villagers riot in protest. Gangacharan manages to survive for a while by exchanging his teaching services for food, but the devastation around him soon becomes so desperate that his altruism overcomes his instinct for self-preservation. ~ Tom Vick, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Distant Thunder (Ashani Sanket)

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (2)

A tragedy of such magnitude becomes an event abstracted by arithmetic. But Ray's artistry alters the scale. His concentrating on just a few victims of the famine causes such massive loss to become real, immediate.

Mar 18, 2013 | Full Review…

Distant thunder, indeed; a superb film.

Sep 8, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

A gentle humanist film that informs the world that over five million died of starvation and epidemics in Bengal.

Mar 11, 2014 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

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