Meena Kumari’s splendid performance as the lovelorn Chhoti Bahu caught in a bad marriage with a zamindar, the indefinable relationship between her and simpleton Bhootnath (Guru Dutt) who has come to Kolkata to look for work, Hemant Kumar’s haunting music and the evocative cinematography by VK Murthy. Produced by Guru Dutt and directed by Abrar Alvi, there has been much to admire about Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. The 1962 film is not only a significant documentation of the decadence and decline of feudalism during the British rule, but also the rise of the reformist Brahmo Samaj movement in the late 19th century.
In this week’s edition of #DirectorsOnDirectors, one of India’s most politically astute filmmaking voices, Sudhir Mishra, casts a critical eye on the classic. Examining the film’s aesthetic and social value, he will use it as a pivot to talk about the cinema of Guru Dutt and the multi-dimensional history of Indian filmmaking. He will also shed light on current developments in the US, the era of India’s British Raj and on the Hollywood classic Gone With The Wind being dropped from HBO’s collection.
He will be in conversation with Namrata Joshi, The Hindu’s cinema editor, as part of the ongoing #LockdownWithWeekend series.
This edition of the #DirectorsOnDirectors series featuring Sudhir Mishra is on Friday, June 12 at 8 pm IST on @thehinduweekend