Director: Tapan Sinha; Writer: Tapan Sinha, Indramitra; Producer: Raja Kapoor, R.N. Malhotra, T.M. Shah; Cinematographer: Bimal Mukherjee; Editor: Subodh Roy; Cast: Chhaya Devi, Swarup Dutta, Samit Bhanja, Partha Mukherjee, Kalyan Chatterjee, Robi Ghosh, Bhanu Bannerjee, Dilip Roy, Premangshu Bose, Mrinal Mukherjee, Jui Banerjee, Romi Chowdhury, Reba Devi, Neepa Sen, Purnima Devi, Dilip Ray, Chinmay Ray, Salil Dutta, Nripati Chatterjee, Bankim Ghosh, Nirmal Kumar, Sumita Sanyal
Duration: 01:53:05; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 240.000; Saturation: 0.010; Lightness: 0.082; Volume: 0.156; Cuts per Minute: 10.293
Summary: Tapan Sinha’s violent and cynical melodrama in response to the Naxalite student movement in Bengal (cf. Satyajit Ray’s Pratidwandi, 1970 and Seemabaddha, 1971; Mrinal Sen’s Calcutta trilogy). An old woman, Anandamoyee (Chhaya Devi), ‘adopts’ a group of lumpen youth, sensing the emotional vulnerability beneath their violent reduction of democracy to a series of gang wars. Two gangs clash when their respective political leaders (representing also the ongoing conflict between ‘local’ people and post-Partition migrants from East Bengal) fight an election. Anandamoyee eventually dies trying to save one of the students from a bullet. The hit film is remembered for its tightly edited portrayal of the farcical election campaign and for its climactic confrontation. The film was remade by Gulzar (Mere Apne, 1971) with Meena Kumari emulating Chhaya Devi’s performance.