Based on Tendulkar’s original play, apparently inspired by an actual event and written for Utpal Dutt, the film extends the Ankur (1973) theme of rural oppression in AP. A poor schoolmaster (Karnad) and his young wife (Azmi) come to a village dominated by a villainous family of zamindars, consisting of four brothers who abduct and rape his wife. The distraught schoolteacher, helped by an old priest (Dubey), finally succeeds in mobilising the villagers and they slaughter their oppressors. Although not as big a success as Ankur, the film enabled many of the actors to trade on their naturalist authenticity to become mainstream Hindi stars including the debuting Naseeruddin Shah and Amrish Puri, who plays the eldest and nastiest brother and is now the highest-priced screen villain in Hindi cinema.
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The film won the 1977 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, was invited to the London Film Festival of 1976, the Melbourne International Film Festival of 1977, and the Chicago International Film Festival of 1977, where it was awarded the Golden Plaque. Read More