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aka The Occupation 1981 72’ col Bengali d/co-sc/m/c Gautam Ghose pc West Bengal Govt st Sunil Jana co-sc Partha Bannerjee lp Mamata Shankar, Robin Sengupta, Sunil Mukherjee, Sajal Roy Choudhury, Bimal Deb

Ghosh’s first Bengali featurette tells of Andi (Shankar), a member of a nomadic tribe of scavengers, and her struggle against a local landlord. Andi is married to the peasant Joga from a different tribe. When Joga dies, the landlord, who wants Andi’s land, incites Andi’s nomadic tribe to declare her marriage illegal so that the landlord may appropriate her land. Eventually, the tribe sees through the manipulation and apologises to Andi, offering her the tribe’s protection. However, she refuses to rejoin the nomads and decides to fight for her land. Set among Bengal’s most marginalised people, the film presents a poeticised (cf. the soft-focus twilight shots in the beginning) image, with allegorical rather than miserabilist overtones, of a struggle for bare survival (cf. Paar, 1984) in an elemental, raw nature shorn of cultural associations.