Close to the holy River Ganga, an ancient tree provides shelter and comfort to Uma, a mute, orphan, Brahmin girl. Treated like a drudge by her cruel aunt, Uma is also cursed by a horoscope ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Uma
Arun Bannerjee ...
(as Arun Bandopadhya)
Kali Bannerjee ...
(as Kali Bandopadhya)
Pradip Mukherjee ...
(as Pradip Mukopadhya)
Arindam Gangopadhyay ...
(as Anndam Ganguli)
Shakuntala Barua
Ratna Ghoshal
Ketaki Dutta
Menaka Das
Ajit Banerjee ...
(as Ajit Bandopadhya)
Bimal Deb ...
(as Dev Bimal)
Monu Mukherjee ...
(as Manu Mukopadhya)
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Storyline

Close to the holy River Ganga, an ancient tree provides shelter and comfort to Uma, a mute, orphan, Brahmin girl. Treated like a drudge by her cruel aunt, Uma is also cursed by a horoscope that portends widowhood. This might not be such a bad thing as this is 1828 and it will be next year before the British outlaw the religiously enforced burning of widows on their husbands' funeral pyres ("sati/suttee"). However, the priest thinks it a sin that a girl over the age of puberty is not married and tradition has it that a younger member of the family cannot marry before an older one. A solution is found: Uma is married to the tree. When she becomes pregnant (the victim of an assault by the local schoolteacher) not even the superstitious villagers believe that the tree is the father and Uma is ostracised for having been unfaithful to her "husband". Sent to live in the cowshed, Uma is forced to shelter in her tree when the cowshed is blown away during a violent storm. Lightning blasts the ... Written by van Goethem

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Details

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Release Date:

23 November 1989 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Widow Burning  »

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User Reviews

 
In the tradition of Pather Panchali and Devi
16 May 2006 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

When I had seen 36 Chowrangee Lane directed by Aparna Sen, I could feel some influence by Satyajit Ray in her work.

This film once again has clear influence of Ray's style on Sen. Some of the scenes from Pather Panchali are reflected in several scenes of Sati, especially an old widow lady, a village hut with cows, thunderstorms. Of course, here they are beautifully colored, blue background in the thunderstorm nights seem to be Sen's favorite theme, remember Mr and Mrs Aiyer? Coming to the theme of the film, it is a solid critique of social oppression especially against women in 18th and 19th century Bengal. Film starts with a widow being burnt by Hindu upper caste folks led by a Brahmin religious leader who is portrayed as a villain throughout.

Shabana Azmi as a mute lady is married to a tree, wonderful acting by her again.

Overall, a masterpiece!


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