wiki:Mana Desam

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Mana Desam

1949 172’ b&w Telugu d L.V. Prasad pc M.R.A. Prod. sc/dial/lyr Samudrala Raghavacharya c M.A. Rehman m Ghantasala Venkateshwara Rao lp Chittor V. Nagaiah, Narayana Rao, N.T. Rama Rao, Relangi Venkatramaiah, Vangara, Ramanatha Sastry, C. Krishnaveni, Kanchana, Surabhi Balasaraswathi, Hemalatha, Lakshmikantam, S.V. Ranga Rao

Produced by the actress Krishnaveni, this is a political melodrama about India’s freedom struggle. Shobha (Krishnaveni), a critic of the Congress Party, argues with Madhu (Narayana Rao), a supporter, and they fall in love. Both get caught up in repressive police violence and are arrested. When independence is achieved,Madhu develops amnesia as a result of torture by the police, but his memory returns and eventually he marries Shobha. The film included several symbolic scenes including a prostitute and a bottle of liquor in front of a Gandhi portrait while a Nagaiah song bemoans the speed at which India forgot Gandhi’s teachings. Remembered mainly as Telugu megastar N.T. Rama Rao’s debut as a police inspector, and as singer Ghantasala’s first composing assignment. The film relies heavily on Burrakatha and Oggukatha folk forms, introduced here via songwriter Raghavacharya and widely used in the propagandist theatre of the Praja Natya Mandali (see IPTA).