wiki:Neecha Nagar

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Neecha Nagar

1946 122’ b&w Hindi d Chetan Anand pc India Pics s Hyatullah Ansari st M. Gorky’s The Lower Depths lyr Vishwamitter Adil, Manmohan Anand c Bidyapati Ghosh m Ravi Shankar lp Rafiq Anwar, Uma Anand, Rafi Peer, Kamini Kaushal, Hamid Butt, S.P. Bhatia, Mohan Segal, Zohra Segal, Prem Kumar

Chetan Anand’s IPTA-supported film loosely adapted from Gorky’s classic forms a trio with Abbas’s Dharti Ke Lal and Shantaram’s Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (both 1946). Class division is signified by a rich landowner (Rafi Peer) who lives on a mountain while the poor starve in the ‘Neecha Nagar’, a village in the valley below. The landowner’s sewage flows around the poor people’s huts, spreading disease. Eventually the rich man dies in a long- drawn-out heart attack. Anand’s debut featured several judgemental high- and low-angled shots, sacrificing realism for quasi-expressionist emotional intensity. This film and Dharti Ke Lal mark Ravi Shankar’s debut as film composer.