Ankur - The Seedling
India 1974 B&W
Dir: Shyam Benegal
Apart from the work of Satyajit Ray, little is generally know about Indian Cinema in NZ beyond the fact that the mainstream consists primarily of kitschy musical spectaculars. Shyam Benegal's first feature, however, represented an alternative to both traditions - a serious, socially-engaged drama, which being in Hindi, avoided the marginality that had always characterised Ray's work in his own country. This film was a substantial commercial success at home as well as a critical success abroad. (Andrew Langridge NZFFS).
Ankur, a film of wonderful visual quality and dramatic drive, which deals shrewdly and ironically with the social implications of arranged marriages and caste. A high-caste man, while waiting for his bride to come of age, seduces his lower-caste maid-servant. The eventual victim, such are the hierarchical rules, is the woman's innocent husband. David Robinson, The Times