Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece the Apu Trilogy is widely considered one of the most important works in cinema history. In 1992, Ray was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Oscar. But when film-preservationist David Sheppard volunteered to go to Bengal, he found the original negatives in a terrible state. “It’s hard to think of another world-class filmmaker”, says Sheppard, “whose oeuvre hangs by such a thin thread!” The Song of the Little Road tells the story of how a master’s body of work came so close to disintegration, and why Ray’s films move audiences so deeply across time and cultural boundaries. Three icons – director Martin Scorsese, producer Ismail Merchant, and music composer Ravi Shankar – illustrate stirringly what makes a masterpiece.