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Restroed Classic films from National Film Archives

Kagaz Ke Phool

India / Hindi / 1959
Direction: Guru Dutt

Even among Guru Dutt’s oeuvre, Kaagaz Ke Phool (Paper Flowers) stands out not only because it was the first shot in cinemascope, but due to the eerie parallels to the master’s own life. The film follows the rise of a debutante into an acclaimed actress even as the director who discovers her sinks into obscurity. it is today regarded as one of the greatest Indian films ever made. Much of the credit goes to Dutt’s command of cinematic storytelling and Geeta Dutt’s renditions of S.D. Burman’s music compositions.

Amma Ariyan

India / Malayalam / 1986
Direction: John Abraham

Amma Ariyan is a 1986 Malayalam film directed by John Abraham. The film revolves around the death of a Naxalite,after which his friend must travel to his village to inform his mother about the death of her son. Amma Ariyan was the first film of the Odessa Collective, made from donations received from the public, and the last made by Abraham. It is considered a landmark film in the history of Indian and Malayalam cinema. Purushan is preparing to leave for Delhi to pursue his research. Somewhere in the forests of Waynad, policemen stop the vehicle in which he is traveling, to carry the body of a man who was found hanging. The dead man’s face seems familiar to Purushan and he sets upon a quest to find the identity of the man, abandoning his plans to go to Delhi. Finally after meeting a lot of people, he is able to identify the man as Hari, a musician and activist. Hari’s mother lives in Cochin and Purushan must now travel to Cochin to deliver the news of the death of her son to the woman.

Oko Oori Katha

India / Telugu / 1977
Direction: Mrinal Sen

Venkaikh is a strange man, living in a queer world of his own with his son Kistaiah. The villagers call them freaks beyond correction. To Venkaiah and his son the farmers are a pack of fools destined to work for the rich. Kistaiah wants to marry Nilamma. The father is against the marriage because it inevitably leads to involvement, involvement to disaster. Kistaiah is adamant. In the family of the reckless two enters a third unit, Nilamma. Nilamma works very hard to bring order in the family, Venkaiah goes his usual way. Kistaiah stands between the two extremes. In course of time Nilamma conceives. One day when the father and son return after raiding someone’s garden, they find Nilamma in acute pain. The father refuses to call a mid-wife and in the morning Kistaiah finds his wife lying dead. They decide to give Nilamma a proper funeral. It is also a good excuse to make some money. They go begging around the village and gather a fair amount of money and decide to spend it on drinks after all….


Mathilukal

India / Malayalam / 1990
Direction: Adoor Gopalakrishnan

A free adaptation of a story by the celebrated writer Vaikom Mohammed Basheer. Autobiographical in nature, it is set against the background of India’s freedom struggle in the 40’s, when he was serving a term of imprisonment for anti-British activities. He finds himself in a walled world of nationalists, thieves, killers, petty criminals and policemen of various hues. But beyond the huge wall is the women’s prison, and a female voice from that outer world comes to fill his empty world with dreams and hope. But on the day they are to meet, he is released from prison..

Garam Hawa / Scorching Winds

India / Urdu/Hindi / 1974
Direction: M.S. Sathyu

Garam Hawa (Hot Winds) was the first feature from director M.S. (Mysore Shrivinas) Sathyu of India. The film was controversial from its inception, as it was the first film to deal with the human consequences resulting from the 1947 partition of India. The tale is a complex narrative assembled with loving attention to detail. The story’s main focal point is Salim Mirza, (played by veteran actor BalrajSahani) a Muslim shoemaker and patriarch who does not want to relocate to Pakistan. There is the added element of a love story woven into this political narrative. Salim’s daughter, Amina, is betrothed to Kazim; they are shown to be deeply in love and very happy together. Kazim goes across the border to Pakistan to find work. When he returns to marry Amina, he is arrested. She pines for her lost lover, but has the attentions of Shamshad (Jalal Agha), whom she does not love and does not wish to marry.

 

Jait Re Jait

India / Marathi / 1977
Direction: Jabbar Patel

Jait Re Jait is a 1977 Marathi film directed by Jabbar Patel. With Smita Patil and Mohan Agashe in lead roles, the film revolves around the life and tradition of the Thakkar tribe in Maharashtra. The film is based on Thakurwadi written by G.N. Dandekar. Jait Re Jait starts with Nagya,a tribal drummer and honey gatherer who is obsessed about attaining the state of purity. Chindhi has left her husband who she deems useless. They meet and fall in love and Chindhi becomes pregnant with Nagyas child. One day, when Nagya goes into the forest to gather wood, he is attacked by a Queen of honeybees and is injured in eye. He decides to take revenge from the bees by destroying their beehives. The bees have their hives on a steep mountain which is difficult to climb. Though the beehives are destroyed, the angry bees attack Chindhi and she dies in an accident. So in the end, though Nagya has his revenge from the Queen Bee, he loses his Queen in the attempt.

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