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The Mourner 1992 128’ col Hindi d/s Kalpana Lajmi pc NFDC/Doordarshan st Mahashweta Devi sc/dial/lyr Gulzar c Santosh Sivan, Dharam Gulati m Bhupen Hazarika lp Dimple Kapadia, Raakhee, Raj Babbar, Raghuvir Yadav, Sushmita Mukherjee, Manohar Singh, Rajesh Singh, Meeta Vasisth, Usha Bannerjee, Mehnaz, Pramod Bala, Amjad Khan

Set in Rajasthan, the film tells in flashback the story of the slave woman Sanichari (Dimple). She was abandoned by her drunken husband (Ganju) and her son Budhwa (Yadav) left when she rejected his shrewish prostitute wife (Mukherjee). The Pandit (M. Singh) harasses her, but she finds sympathy from the famous professional mourner or rudaali, Bhikni (Raakhee), summoned by the local potentate in anticipation of his death. Bhikni, after she dies unexpectedly, turns out to have been Sanichari’s long-lost mother. Sanichari, hardened by sorrow and no longer able to cry, becomes the mistress of Laxman Singh (Babbar). Eventually, mourning the death of Bhikni, she breaks down and becomes a rudaali like her mother.