The films takes an expressionist look at the gulf between the rich and poor in the society. The film centers on a wealthy and capacious landlord, Sarkar (Rafi Peer) who lives in a palatial ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Rafiq Anwar ...
Uma Anand ...
Maya
Kamini Kaushal ...
Rupa (as Kamni Kaushal)
Rafi Peer ...
Sarkar
S.P. Bhatia ...
Sagar
Hameed Butt ...
Yaqoob Chacha (as Hamid Butt)
Mohan Saigal ...
Raza
Zohra Segal ...
Bhabi
Vyas ...
Bhai
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mohan Segal
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Storyline

The films takes an expressionist look at the gulf between the rich and poor in the society. The film centers on a wealthy and capacious landlord, Sarkar (Rafi Peer) who lives in a palatial estate high up on a mountain while the poor toil and starve in the valley below. The villagers of 'Neecha Nagar' harbor hate for Sarkar and their hatred is fueled even more by the fact that Sarkar plans to direct all the sewage into the village in order to make way for his housing project. The villagers protest this move with their head, Balraj (Rafiq Anwar) leading a movement against Sarkar's plan. Sarkar's daughter Maya (Uma Anand) joins the movement against her father and falls in love with Balraj. With the sewage flowing through the village, epidemic starts to spread and the lives of the villagers comes under threat. Can poor people of 'Neecha Nagar' survive the greed and wickedness of the rich? Can Sarkar and his malicious ways be put to an end? Written by Chechs

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September 1946 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Lowly City  »

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Trivia

Won Best Film award (Palme d'Or) in 1946 in Cannes Film Festival. See more »

Crazy Credits

The second screen reads - "When this film was sent to France for the International Film Festival, it contained one song less and no dances." See more »

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User Reviews

 
A memorable Indian film with a subject that is relevant even 70 years later in India
16 July 2016 | by (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) – See all my reviews

The only film from India to win the top award at Cannes, but rarely discussed by fans of Indian cinema.

The subject of the film is as relevant today in 2016 as it was 70 years ago in India. It deals with rich and influential folks influencing decisions on public works for their private gain at the expense of the poorer folks and throwing minor sops at them to mitigate the anger of the affected poor.

The cinematography and expressionist montage are memorable for a 1946 film. One should realize that the director Chetan Anand was working with a crew and cast more at home with theater (IPTA) and yet made the work cinematically credible. Hats off to you, Mr Anand!

A bonus is the music of Pandit Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro.


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