Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998)

Run Time - 186 min.  |   Countries - India   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Govind Nihalani, an important figure of the New Cinema movement in India, focuses on the psychological implications of political actions in a drama set in Calcutta in 1972, when the whole State of Bengal was swept by a militant leftist movement known as the "Naxalbari Movement." Sujata Chatterji is a traditional upper-middle-class lady who works in a bank. She awakens early one morning to the shattering news that her youngest and favorite son, Brati, is lying dead in a police morgue, reduced to a mere number attached to his feet: Corpse No. 1084. This awakening impels her on a journey of discovery, in the course of which, struggling to understand her Naxalite son's revolutionary commitment, she begins to recognize her own alienation as a woman and a wife from the complacent, hypercritical bourgeois society her son had rebelled against. In an attempt to fight the intense psychological and emotional trauma, Sujata, as a mother, gains some deep insights into the complex relationship between the personal and the political. The film also treats the lack of understanding and openness between young people and their parents. Sujata is played by Jaya Bachchan, an important actress of Indian cinema who returned to the screen with this film after a 17-year absence. The film was screened at the 1998 International Film Festival of India and the 4th International Film Festival of Kerala, 1999.

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Keywords

journey, Leftist, militant, mother, Native-American, politics, revolution