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A fisherman, Kishore, marries Basanti when he visits a nearby village. After their wedding night (during which the couple is almost too shy to speak), she is kidnapped on the river. When she is found, she has amnesia; although Basanti does not remember her new husband's name or what he looks like, she remembers the name of his village. Ten years pass before she attempts to find him with their son, who sees his mother as a goddess. Some residents of Kishore's village refuse to share food with Basanti and her son because of the ever-present threat of starvation.
This film by somewhat neglected Indian director Ritwik Ghatak is one of the most unusual I have ever seen. The stories are set among the harsh life around the banks of Bangladesh's rivers (one of the poorest regions of the world). It tells several gruesome tales: abductions, escapes, living among strangers, death, though the characters go through this with the resignation of someone who knows that life is hard and always have been. Now, having seen this film more than a decade ago, I cannot recall all the details. But the unusual part is the way this story is told. It puts a character at the center of the story for, say, twenty minutes, and then it moves to another character, who was playing a minor role in the first story. And then to another character, and so on. It is a collection of stories, but loosely (or not so loosely interconnected). Overall, a fine tapestry of life in one of the poorest parts of the world.
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