Changes between Initial Version and Version 1 of Susman

Jul 17, 2012, 8:10:40 PM (10 years ago)



  • Susman

    v1 v1  
     4aka The Essence 
     51986 140’ col Hindi 
     6d/p Shyam Benegal pc Association of Cooperatives 
     7and Apex Society of Handloom, 
     8Sahyadri Films sc Shama Zaidi c Ashok Mehta 
     9m Sharang Dev, Vanraj Bhatia 
     10lp Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Neena Gupta, 
     11Kulbhushan Kharbanda, K.K. Raina, Annu 
     12Kapoor, Harish Patel, Mohan Agashe, Ila Arun 
     15A tribute to the ‘Ikat’ handloom weavers of 
     16Pochampally in AP. The film tells of Ramulu 
     17(Puri), a master of silk weaving, his family and 
     18their tribulations with the co-operative they 
     19work in. The drama is sparked off by internal 
     20rivalries and the arrival of a government 
     21official, a woman (Gupta) looking for items to 
     22send to an exhibition in Paris. Complications 
     23are provided by Ramulu, who secretly uses 
     24some of his allotted silk to make a wedding sari 
     25for his daughter, leading to his temporary 
     26disgrace. The contrast between artisanal 
     27craftsmanship and mass-production techniques 
     28is illustrated by the life of Ramulu’s son-in-law, 
     29who moves away from the family and finds 
     30work in a textile factory. The moral of the story 
     31is underlined in an interview between a French 
     32journalist and Ramulu, the latter trying to 
     33explain that a craftsman pours the essence of 
     34his soul into his craft. Unlike e.g. Mani Kaul 
     35(cf. Mati Manas, 1984) whose 80s work is also 
     36animated by similar concerns for dying craft 
     37traditions, Benegal’s cinema makes no effort to 
     38mediate, demystify or even understand the 
     39nature of that ‘essence’. Produced, like his 
     40earlier Manthan (1976), by a marketing cooperative, 
     41the film also capitalised on a 
     42specifically 80s orientalism brought about by 
     43the several Festivals of India and trade fairs of 
     44traditional craft in Europe and the USSR.