Exceptional film set in 1947 and about the partition of India.
This is an outstanding film and should be considered a landmark in Indian cinema. The subject matter is the 1947 partition of British India, into India and Pakistan. The story is about a Muslim family in Agra, and the central figure is that of Salim Mirza (Balraj Sahni in his memorable last role). The film deals with the state of Muslims in the Hindu India immediately after the partition, when the situation is full of anger and passion (hence the name Garam Hawa, meaning Hot Winds) resulting from people uprooted out of the political decision to divide the land based on religion. While his brother, sister and the older son decide to move on to Pakistan, Salim Mirza stays in India to live and fight for his rights as a citizen. Along with him is his younger son, who had just finished college at the time of the partition and he joins the activists demanding proper & just government of this new born democracy. The film is no doubt influenced by Satyajit Ray's work (and of De Sica) in use of actual locales, using many non-professional actors and staying away from the trade mark Hindi-film song and dance numbers. Balraj Sahni is the main stay and delivers a superb performance, although the supporting performances are equally wonderful. M.S. Sathyu as the director deserves to be remembered just on the basis on this single effort. Color cinematography is very good and the background of Taj Mahal in Agra and the old Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri has been well used. Music by Sarode maestro Ustad Bahadur Khan adds to the value of this production. This film, with English sub-titles, is now available on DVD in US and Canada. Definitely a must-see.
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