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Distant Thunder

Released Jun 1, 1973 1h 40m Drama List
100% Tomatometer 5 Reviews 91% Audience Score 250+ Ratings
Famine and war threaten to tear apart a Bengal village during the '40s -- as well as the marriage of Gangacharan (Soumitra Chatterjee), who has assumed the role of religious leader and teacher, and his wife, Ananga (Babita). At first, life in the village moves along at a tranquil ebb and flow, but as food runs out and the specter of war looms ever closer, societal unrest builds. In the face of disaster, Ananga does what is best for the people while her husband seeks to preserve traditional ways. Read More Read Less
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Distant Thunder

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Critics Reviews

View All (5) Critics Reviews
Pauline Kael New Yorker The film is delicately, ambiguously beautiful. Oct 19, 2023 Full Review Jay Cocks TIME Magazine 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 Tom Milne Time Out Distant thunder, indeed; a superb film. Sep 8, 2011 Full Review Jimmy Cage Jimmy Cage Movie Reviews (YouTube) DISTANT THUNDER is an elegiac, thoughtful and startling film that shows the horrors of war and its inhumane effects from the perspective of the inhabitants of a small village in Bengal. This film has not only artistic but also historic value. Rated: 8/10 Mar 13, 2022 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews A gentle humanist film that informs the world that over five million died of starvation and epidemics in Bengal. Rated: A- Mar 11, 2014 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (12) audience reviews
Audience Member another winner from Ray. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Satyajit Ray's "Distant Thunder" falls flat in the last thirty five minutes. The film's setting is in a small village of Bengal, India during World War II. It observes the consequences of war and the Great Famine of 1943 through the eyes of a Brahmin (high caste) couple, who are the only Brahmins in the village. Even though the video quality of the film was poor, I still was able to appreciate some of the beautiful images. These images seemed to me more like Ozu's "pillow shots," as Ebert informs in "Ozu: The masterpieces you've missed." Soumitra Chatterjee (one of my favorite actors, still alive) performs very well as the doctor-teacher Brahmin, who is treated almost like a messiah, since he is the only literate in the village. Ray's gradual development of what is happening in the village is commendable, but the result of these developments shows zero profit in the end. Of some of the reviews I've read, this film is quite praised, however I just felt it chose an easy way out. It is a mediocre picture that does not even compete with Ray's second-tier works. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Audience Member classic ray, in his element Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review Audience Member Amazing movie, seems to be happening before my eyes. The most poignant moment is that when the hero goes to a far off village to buy rice but is offered a meal instead. He is in such dilema as he can't have the food because his wife is hugry back home. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member A look at the devastating Bengal famine of 1943, and its effects on one village, and one privileged couple in particular. I believe this is Satyajit Ray's first color film, and it's one of the better ones. The photography is quite good. This isn't among Ray's very best work (nor Soumitra Chatterjee's) but it's definitely worth watching, although (naturally) very depressing. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member A magnificent underrated (?) film - this one is not spoken of in the same categiry as the Apu trilogy but is just as good Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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Movie Info

Synopsis Famine and war threaten to tear apart a Bengal village during the '40s -- as well as the marriage of Gangacharan (Soumitra Chatterjee), who has assumed the role of religious leader and teacher, and his wife, Ananga (Babita). At first, life in the village moves along at a tranquil ebb and flow, but as food runs out and the specter of war looms ever closer, societal unrest builds. In the face of disaster, Ananga does what is best for the people while her husband seeks to preserve traditional ways.
Director
Satyajit Ray
Producer
Sharbani Bhattacharya
Screenwriter
Satyajit Ray
Production Co
Angel Digital Private Limited
Genre
Drama
Original Language
Bangla
Release Date (Theaters)
Jun 1, 1973, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Oct 26, 2017
Runtime
1h 40m
Sound Mix
Mono
Aspect Ratio
35mm
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