Up 3,376 this week

India: Matri Bhumi (1959)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 281 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 6 critic

Add a Plot


0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1000 titles
created 29 May 2012
a list of 65 titles
created 28 Nov 2012
list image
a list of 46 titles
created 6 months ago
a list of 817 titles
created 3 months ago
a list of 1000 titles
created 2 months ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: India: Matri Bhumi (1959)

India: Matri Bhumi (1959) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of India: Matri Bhumi.
1 nomination. See more awards »


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Drama






Release Date:

5 February 1960 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

India: Matri Bhumi  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Narrator: [Looking at a monument erected to honor the workers who died during the construction of the Hirakud Dam] 175 dead... But before, with all the floods, if we'd had to build a monument for the victims, we'd have needed one as long as this dam to engrave all the names.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A disappointment
17 April 2007 | by (Montreal, Quebec) – See all my reviews

Perhaps it was the incredibly washed-out, virtually monochrome print. Perhaps it was the non-stop painful soundtrack of bird noises. Perhaps it was the overbearing, condescending ceaseless narration.

But mostly this supposed masterpiece reminded me of schoolroom educational films. The camera work is not particularly great; we learn little about actual (as opposed to staged) life in India; though closely immersed in local settings, there is virtually no geographic, historic or temporal overview to guide us; and the staged sequences come across as forced and distancing, most alarmingly with the monkey sequence at the end (it verges on flat out cruelty). Other sections have sudden and jarring outcomes that work entirely against the drawn-outness of the rest.

I can't think of a film that has aged less well than this basic documentary. Just because it's by a master doesn't make it a masterpiece. And yes, I watched it closely, understood its structure and themes and so forth. There are good sequences in the film (the elephant logging and dam building in particular evoke a clearly dichotomous relationship with nature) but it could have been well-trimmed, better contextualized, and shorn of its irritating narration.

What we have here is an outsider's, deastheticized, desaturated, scattershot, only slightly empathetic view of India. Let the images speak! And, most of all, let the Indians speak for themselves. It's taken 50 years to realize we should give them the cameras (Born into Brothels comes to mind.)

11 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is this available to buy or rent? troza
Saw this on TCM: fascinating imagery, almost dreamlike ZolotoyRetriever
Discuss India: Matri Bhumi (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page