Distant Thunder (1973 film)

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Ashani Sanket
Dvd ashani sanket.jpg
A poster for Ashani Sanket
Directed by Satyajit Ray
Screenplay by Satyajit Ray
Based on Ashani Sanket
by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay
Starring Soumitra Chatterjee
Sandhya Roy
Music by Satyajit Ray
Cinematography Soumendu Roy
Edited by Dulal Dutta
Balaka Movies
Distributed by Nanda Bhattacharya
Release date
  • June 1973 (1973-06) (Berlin)
  • 16 August 1973 (1973-08-16) (India)
Running time
101 minutes
Country India
Language Bengali

Distant Thunder (Bengali: অশনি সংকেত; translit. Oshoni Shongket) is a 1973 Bengali film by the renowned Indian director Satyajit Ray, based on the novel by the same name by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay.[1] Unlike most of Ray's earlier films, Distant Thunder was filmed in colour. It stars Soumitra Chatterjee, who headlined numerous Ray films, and the Bangladeshi actress Bobita in her only prominent international role. Today the film features in "The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made".[2] It marked the debut of the theatre star Mrityunjay Sil.[2]


The film is set in a village in the Indian province of Bengal during World War II, and examines the effect of the Great Famine of 1943 on the villages of Bengal through the eyes of a young Brahmin doctor-teacher, Gangacharan, and his wife, Anaga. Ray shows the human scale of a cataclysmic event that killed more than 3 million people. The film unfolds at a leisurely pace that reflects the rhythms of village life, but gradually shows the breakdown of traditional village norms under the pressure of hunger and starvation.[3][4]


  • Soumitra Chatterjee as Gangacharan Chakravarti
  • Bobita as Angana/Gangacharan's wife
  • Chitra Banerjee as Moti
  • Govinda Chakravarti - Dinabandhu
  • Anil Ganguly as Nibaran
  • Noni Ganguly as Scarface' Jadu
  • Debatosh Ghosh as Adhar
  • Ramesh Mukherjee as Biswas
  • Sheli Pal as Mokshada
  • Suchita Ray Chaudhury as Khenti
  • Sandhya Roy as Chutki
  • Mrityunjay Sil as Ajay (Cameo)[2]


Berlin International Film Festival


  1. ^ Ashani Archived 28 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Satyajit Ray Film and Study Centre, University of California, Santa Cruz.
  2. ^ a b c The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made by the film critics of the New York Times, New York Times, 2002.
  3. ^ Movie Review - Ashani Sanket By Vincent Canby, New York Times, 12 October 1973.
  4. ^ Overview New York Times.
  5. ^ "Berlinale 1973: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 

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