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Calcutta (1969)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 360 users  
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With minimal narration by the director and very little context this is a kaleidoscope of stunning visuals from Calcutta, a city of 8,000,000 in the late 1960's: rich and poor, exotic and ... See full summary »

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Title: Calcutta (1969)

Calcutta (1969) on IMDb 7.3/10

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With minimal narration by the director and very little context this is a kaleidoscope of stunning visuals from Calcutta, a city of 8,000,000 in the late 1960's: rich and poor, exotic and mundane, secular and religious, children and adults, animate and inanimate. Given only the images, the viewer can read any meaning she or he wants into the film. Written by Maple-2

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Plot Keywords:

poor | 1960s | city | children | malnutrition | See more »

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Documentary

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Release Date:

November 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Calcuta  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A visually stunning reminder of human suffering
23 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had the opportunity to watch about 3/4 of Louis Malle's documentary Calcutta during a history class that dealt with historical and modern slums. The movie is a hard film to watch at times due to the display of human suffering throughout the movie. As mentioned in the plot outline, there is little commentary or written dialogue in the film and you are given the raw picture, with some sound, of one of the largest and poorest slums in the world. The imagery is hard to take at times. I saw the film roughly three years ago and there are still two scenes which I vividly remember. One is a dramatic funeral scene where members of a woman's family cremate her in the middle of a street. The other was of a small child, with no clothes or shoes, standing next to filthy streams of water that ran through the slums.

Despite being produced almost 40 years ago, Calcutta deals with urban planning issues that are still prevalent today. There are still places like Lagos, the City of the Dead, and Karachi where slums and ghettos exist and exact a terrible toll on those who live there. This is an excellent movie for anyone who is concerned with urban planning and the global impact of slums, but not for the light-hearted.


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