7.5/10
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4 user 8 critic

India: Matri Bhumi (1959)

Several stories depicting the landscapes and fauna of India are mixed with documentary footage.

Director:

Roberto Rossellini

Writers:

Roberto Rossellini (screenplay), Sonali Senroy DasGupta (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

Divided into four episodes Roberto Rosellini's performs a ritual trip with India covering culture, beautiful architecture and also the State of India society, create an impression and a feeling of Rossellini on the State of the Indian community at that time. Written by Egi David Perdana

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

31 March 2015 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Inde, terre mère See more »

Filming Locations:

Hirakud, Odisha, India See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Gevacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Narrator: [Looking at a monument erected to honor the workers who died during the construction of the Hirakud Dam] 175 dead... But before, with all the floods, if we'd had to build a monument for the victims, we'd have needed one as long as this dam to engrave all the names.
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User Reviews

 
Unusual film from Rossellini has its rewards
5 August 2015 | by Andy-296See all my reviews

This episodic film, shot in 1956 and released in 1959, deals mostly with vignettes of life in rural India. It is not a documentary, since the episodes are obviously scripted and performed by amateur actors (probably villagers, themselves). Apparently, India's leader at the time, Nehru, asked famous Italian director Roberto Rossellini to make this movie (whether the Indian president or other authorities like the end result, I don't know).

The director praises through the narrator the widespread tolerance of the Indian people, and we soon see the diversity and vitality of the country. After a brief introduction in Mumbai, we move to what the movie calls the "real India", that is, the India of the villages. We see elephants being forced to work as loggers, a puppet show, an illiterate elephant runner having his father arrange a marriage with a local farm girl, a worker in a nearly completed dam knowing he will soon have to move with his family to another place (despite the desperate pleas of his nagging, complaining wife), an elderly villager having to deal both with the presence of man killing tigers nearby and the arrival of government mining prospectors, and, in the best story, a performing monkey chained to its master who has to escape when he suddenly collapses in the heat and is surrounded by vultures. As you can see, animals are as much the stars of this movie as people, as we see elephants, tigers, monkeys, cows, vultures. It is not very well known film, and it can be accused of being a tad folkloric, but is very much worth watching, especially in a copy with its color restored.


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