during one of India's main peasant raisings, the Telangana insurrection
between 1945 and 1951 in the pre-Independent state of Hyderabad,
the Bengali director's first feature film tells the story of Chander's
best-known novel from the peasant's point of view.
young peasant, Ramaiah, rebels against the corrupt rule of the Nizam,
and when his girl friend has to submit to the potentate's sexual
coercion, Ramaiah leaves. He befriends a Marxist activist (the raising
was CPI inspired) and participates in the independence struggle.
When the peasants take over the village after the Independence,
their anger boils over and they perpetrate a massacre.
1948 the Indian army marched into Hyderabad and suppressed the rising.
Many of the ousted landlords returned to the power by becoming Congress
officials, so that the peasants had to face the same struggle all
film is made in a documentary style inspired by Latin American political
cinema but also uses Indian folk idioms such as Burra Katha
style (the political education sequence with the union leader Maqbool).
The film's view of rising is mostly an uncritical one, esp. in comparison
with recent analysis by historians sympathetic to political groups
currently working in Telangana.
read the related analysis by Bhagavan Das Garga on Telugu Art cinema