wiki:Shaher Aur Sapna

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Shaher Aur Sapna

aka Shehar Aur Sapna aka The City and the Dream 1963 140’(120’) b&w Hindi d/s K.A. Abbas pc Naya Sansar lyr Ali Sardar Jafri c Ramchandra m J.P. Kaushik lp Dilip Raj, Surekha Parkar, Nana Palsikar, Manmohan Krishna, David, Anwar Hussain, Rashid Khan, Asit Sen

Abbas’s romantic view of Bombay’s pavement- dwellers tells of a man (Roy) who arrives from a poor Punjabi village to find a job. Amazed at the city’s opulence he soon realises the main problem is to find shelter. He finally settles down with his wife (Surekha) in an unused water pipe where she gives birth to their child. The activities of slum landlords and thieves open the way for property developers and bulldozers and the pavement-dwellers again have to find shelter elsewhere, but this time they act together. For the next decade, this film’s sentimentalised way of showing urban class divisions became the standard, popular idiom for these motifs, extending into Abbas’s own documentaries (cf. Char Shaher Ek Kahani, 1968) and into e.g. Sukhdev’s influential ‘progressive’ featurettes (And Miles To Go ..., 1965).