wiki:Do Bigha Zameen

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Do Bigha Zameen

aka Two Acres of Land 1953 142’(134’) b&w Hindi d/p Bimal Roy pc Bimal Roy Prod. st/m Salil Choudhury sc Hrishikesh Mukherjee dial Paul Mahendra lyr Shailendra c Kamal Bose lp Balraj Sahni, Nirupa Roy, Rattan Kumar, Murad, Jagdeep, Nana Palsikar, Nasir Hussain, Mishra, Dilip Jr., Nandkishore, Rajlakshmi, Tiwari, Noor, Kusum, Hiralal, Sapru, Meena Kumari, Mehmood

Realist drama about a small landowner, Shambhu (Sahni) which opens with a song celebrating the rains that put an end to two seasons of drought, Hariyala sawan dhol bajata aaya. Shambhu and his son Kanhaiya (R. Kumar) have to go and work in Calcutta to repay their debt to the merciless local zamindar (Sapru) in order to retain their ancestral two acres of land. The sentimentally portrayed peasants bid farewell to the departing Shambhu and his son with the song Bhai re, ganga aur jamuna ki dharti kahe pukar ke. In Calcutta, Shambhu becomes a rickshaw-puller, facing numerous hardships that lead to his near-fatal accident, the death of his wife (N. Roy) who joins him in the city and, inevitably, the loss of his land to speculators who build a factory on it. Although promoted as the epitome of Indian neo-realism, the film is even more melodramatic than e.g. De Sica’s work (sometimes claimed to have influenced Roy’s work). The script and the humanist acting styles include a hard but kind landlady in the Calcutta slum and the happy-go-lucky shoeshine boy (Jagdeep) who takes Kanhaiya under his wing, all enhanced by IPTA overtones in Choudhury’s music. The film’s neo-realist reputation is almost solely based on Balraj Sahni’s extraordinary performance in his best-known film role.