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Maa Bhoomi (1979)
Maa Bhoomi
Maa Bhoomi (1979)
Duration: 2 hours and 38 minutes
Banner: Chaitanya Chitra
Story: Krishan Chandra's novel Jab Khet Jaage (1948)
Direction: Gautam Ghose
Dialogues: B Narsing Rao & Pran Rao
Music: Gautam Ghose, Vinjanuri Seeta & Naga Bhushanam
Lyrics: Suddala Hanumanthu & Yadagiri
Camera: Kamal Naik
Screenplay: Gautam Ghose, B Narsing Rao & Partha Benarjee
Producer: B Narsing Rao & G Ravindranath
Cast: Kakarala, Saichand, Rami Reddy, Bhopal Reddy, Yadagini, Pokala, Rajeswari, Hansa, Prasad Rao, Pradeep Kumar & Lakshmana Rao
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About the film:

Set 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.

A 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.

In 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 over again.

This 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.

Also read the related analysis by Bhagavan Das Garga on Telugu Art cinema

More to come

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