wiki:Chhatrabhang

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Chhatrabhang

aka The Divine Plan 1976 80’ col Hindi d/co-p/s Nina Shivdasani co-p Asha Sheth, Vashketu Foundation c Apurba Kishore Bir m Edgar Varese lp Amrish Puri

An allusive documentary shot in 1975 with a commentary written by Vinay Shukla and narrated by Puri, India’s notorious screen villain. The film uses an aestheticised, painterly shooting style to meditate on the iniquities of the caste system esp. in rural areas. The focus of the story is the fictional reconstruction of a real-life episode in which Harijans confront Brahmin elites and eventually the police, when their well dries up. It ends with some documentary interviews with real people involved in the original struggle. Born in Bombay (1946), Shivdasani was trained as a painter and a photographer in New York and Los Angeles. She is probably the first Indian woman director of experimental films. After four short films, this is her first feature-length work.

Film