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MADHUMATI

India, 1958 (MIFF 1961, Programme 37)

Director: Bimal Roy

"The fruit of a deed is three-fold: it may arise here and now, or later, or in a succession of lives . . ." - Anguttara Nikaya.

This is a story of the re-birth of two lovers who, having met in their previous lives, had, through evil circumstances, lost each other. A young man comes to an old house and feels that he has been there before. A tale is then told of his love for a girl while he worked as a manager on a rajah's plantation. The rajah coveted the girl who was kitled while trying to elude him. Using a girl who looks like the dead one, a plan is made to trap the rajah. . .

The framework of this film is provided by the Hindu belief in re-incarnation. Ballet, singing and even comic characters are liberally interspersed, and one concludes that the film waa aimed at the widest possible audience in India. To European audiences it may appear slow-moving and discursive, nevertheless it has sincerity, and sound construction.

The film received nine Clare Awards, which in India are awarded each year for outstanding merit in the motion picture arts and sciences; it was shown at the Edinburgh and Moscow film festivals. Bimal Roy, the director, is noted for Two Acres of Land and Gotama the Buddha.

See also...

TWO ACRES OF LAND

Hailed as one of the first Indian neo &ndash: realist films, Two Acres of Land succeeds in presenting an unromanticised view of certain aspects of Indian life. It has been likened to de Sica's ... More »

Images of Town

A town is discovered as if through the eyes of a modern painter. ... More »

Eating

Loud licking alternates continually with a four-note clarion call, while the camera records a kinky eat-in, with three bare bosomed girls, one wearing a bearded mask, tasting food that is ... More »

Birds

A girl lies with legs splayed on a couch. She dangles a paper bird on the end of a piece of string. ... The camera rocks and slides as if in a trance, and the white shape, fluttering to the raucous ... More »

The Axe and the Lamp

A diverting and irreverent cartoon which explores Bruegel's painting of the 'Netherlandish Proverbs'. The painting attacks sin with the axe of satire, and illuminates with the lamp of pity. ... More »

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