Drama | English, Bengali with English subtitles | 99 minutes
Harriet, her brother, and four sisters are part of an upper middle-class English family residing on the banks of the Ganges River in India. Her father supports the large family running a jute mill. Their tranquil life becomes complicated when the family’s neighbor invites his cousin, Captain John, to live on his plantation. Despite losing a leg in the war, Captain John’s charm and sophistication attracts Harriet. As they become more intimate, Harriet allows Captain John to read her secret diary. But the relationship crashes when Harriet spots Captain John cavorting with her best friend Valerie and sees them exchange a passionate kiss. Harriet is so crestfallen as she ponders whether her life is worth living
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 92%
- BAFTA Awards: Nominated, Best Film
- Cahiers du Cinéma: Winner, Best Film
- National Board of Review: Winner, Best Foreign Film
- Venice Film Festival: Winner, Best Director (Jean Renoir)
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Renoir’s location work in India and his semi-documentary excursions look great, juxtaposed as they are with his bold fantasy sequences evoking India’s spiritual life.
Against the colorful background of a holy river in India and the busy yet placid miscellany of the pungent life along its banks, Jean Renoir has filmed a haunting reverie of the growing up of a sensitive English girl in his screen adaptation of Rumer Godden’s THE RIVER. The illustrations of the country are beautiful beyond words – the serenity of the river, the power of boatmen sweeping its streams, the bazaars full of color and movement, the dazzling brilliance of festivals and, in one fine interpolated sequence, the dignity of the native dance.
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