GenreDrama Music directorSatyajit Ray Duration LanguageBengali
Release dateJune 1973 (1973-06) (Berlin)
August 16, 1973 (1973-08-16) (India) Based onAshani Sanket
by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay WriterBibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay (novel), Satyajit Ray (screenplay) CastSoumitra Chatterjee (Gangacharan Chakravarti), Sandhya Roy (Chutki), Bobita (Ananga), Anil Ganguly (Nibaran), Noni Ganguly (Scarface Jadu) Similar moviesRelated Satyajit Ray movies
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. 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". It marked the debut of the theatre star Mrityunjay Sil.
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.