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City of Joy (1992)

PG-13 | | Drama | 17 April 1992 (USA)
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Hazari Pal lives in a small village in Bihar, India, with his dad, mom, wife, Kamla, daughter, Amrita, and two sons, Shambhu and Manooj. As the Pal are unable to repay the loan they had ... See full summary »

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Hazari Pal
...
Joan Bethel
...
Kamla H. Pal
...
Amrita H. Pal
Santu Chowdhury ...
Shambu H. Pal
Imran Badsah Khan ...
Manooj H. Pal
...
Ashok Ghatak
Nabil Shaban ...
Anouar
Debatosh Ghosh ...
Ram Chander
Suneeta Sengupta ...
Poomina
Mansi Upadhyay ...
Meeta
Shyamanand Jalan ...
Ghatak - Godfather
Shyamal Sengupta ...
Gangooly - Con man
Rudraprasad Sengupta ...
Chomotkar
Edit

Storyline

Hazari Pal lives in a small village in Bihar, India, with his dad, mom, wife, Kamla, daughter, Amrita, and two sons, Shambhu and Manooj. As the Pal are unable to repay the loan they had taken years ago from a moneylender, their land and property are auctioned, and they are rendered homeless. Hazari and his family re-locate to Calcutta with hopes of starting life anew, save some money and go back to Bihar, as well as get Amrita married. Things do not go as planned, as they lose their entire savings to a con-man, Gangooly, who took their money as rent by pretending to be a landlord. Then Hazari gets an opportunity to take up driving a rickshaw manually through a local godfather, Ghatak. He gets to meet a American, Dr. Max Lowe, and together they strike up a friendship along with a local social worker, Joan Bethel. Misunderstandings crop up between Joan and the Godfather, resulting in the shutting down of their shanty medical clinic. When Hazari sides with Joan, his rickshaw is taken ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

True heroism lies in the quality of the struggle. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for scenes of brief strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

17 April 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La ciudad de la alegría  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$14,683,921 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two assistant directors were accused of the murder of a local journalist who had worked for Ashok Dasgupta, editor of "Aaj Kal", one of the leading Indian newspapers. Dasgupta launched a series of personal attacks against the production, at one point even accusing Roland Joffe of making a porn film. Although it later transpired that the journalist in question had died of lung cancer, Dasgupta refused to withdraw his attacks, charging Joffe with paying off the autopsy physicians and police, and demanding that he hire two Indian crew members because they had insulted him. Joffe refused his demands. See more »

Quotes

Hasari Pal: If the journey is not what you expected, do not be surprised.
See more »

Connections

References Masters of the Universe (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Original folk score
Richard Blackford
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User Reviews

 
A picture of the darker world that exists... still
10 February 2008 | by (St. Louis, MO USA) – See all my reviews

The story and the characters in this movie are worthy and good, but in my opinion the true merit of this film is that it highlights how different situations and peoples of the world are in fact. To say that we're all the same and equal is true on one level -- a moral level. But, the real world operates on another level, and this film highlights it well.

There is tremendous poverty on our planet. The Western World has pretty much extinguished the degree of poverty shown in this film, and that is wonderful. But, many in the West seem to believe that everyone thinks and reacts as they do: with hope and confidence in the future. That is not true in many other parts of the world, and very often that is not due to a personal weakness, but to economic and cultural factors that have resonated for years – for centuries. How one born and raised in a pretty hopeless environment feels and thinks is certainly quite different than how the same occurs in a First World country. The extremes of poverty, the hopelessness, repeated futility of efforts, persecutions on personal and public levels... all have combined to create a unique pathos that outsiders find hard to understand.

Are some people in the world trapped and have they become lethargic as a result? Yes, but it is imperative to understand that they have seen many generations of others try to escape the ravages of poverty, only to run into box canyons. Eventually, repeated failures affect an entire population, and this movie reveals that fact to some degree. It should also be noted that a great deal of abject poverty in that part of the world is the result of too many people, too little food, and brutal cycles of weather that destroy all in the way.

What this film makes me ponder is just how such desperate peoples can best be helped by outsiders. Unfortunately, there is not a simple nor single answer. Situations and individuals and opportunities are in constant flux. Outsiders with big hearts may relieve some pain and suffering, but in the end most of the people will have to become determined enough to better their circumstances, and to then do whatever it takes. Others can help the struggling to pull on their bootstraps, but others cannot wear the boots for them or do their work for them.

This movie depicts a single set of unique events that resulted in people finally becoming determined to be masters of their own fate, come what may. I think that is the important message of this movie. I think outsiders can help some people see a new path to self actualization.


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