When a wealthy patriarch falls ill on his 70th birthday, three of his sons rush in from Calcutta, leading to a reunion filled with painful ironies and lingering disillusionment. As the family—including an addled fourth son (Soumitra Chatterjee) who lives with the old man—watches and waits, the static occasion brings out simmering tensions in their family dynamics, from the father’s moral rectitude to the business ambition of two sons and the withdrawal of their siblings. Print courtesy of the Satyajit Ray Film and Study Collection at the Academy Film Archive.
“On Ray’s screen [in Branches], everything moves and breathes, everything has nuance and depth.”
—Jean-Michel Frodon, Le Monde