12 user 6 critic

Ankur: The Seedling (1974)

Ankur (original title)
Belonging to a lower caste, Lakshmi and her deaf-mute husband Kishtayya serve the landlord's son, Surya. When Surya's young wife finds out about his affair with Lakshmi, they all find themselves at crossroads.


Shyam Benegal


Shyam Benegal (story and scenario), Satyadev Dubey (dialogue) (as Pandit Satya Dev Dubey)
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Shabana Azmi ... Laxmi
Sadhu Meher Sadhu Meher ... Kishtayya
Anant Nag ... Surya
Priya Tendulkar ... Saru
Aga Mohamed Hussain Aga Mohamed Hussain ... Sheik Chand
Mirza Qadirali Baig Mirza Qadirali Baig ... Surya's father
Hemant Jeshwant Rao Hemant Jeshwant Rao
Satyanarayan Satyanarayan
Sesham Raju Sesham Raju
Hameed Rashid Hameed Rashid
Aslam Akhtar Aslam Akhtar
Syed Yakoob Syed Yakoob
Jagat Jeevan Jagat Jeevan
Prafullata Natu Prafullata Natu
Kaleem Siddiqui Kaleem Siddiqui


Laxmi lives a poor lifestyle in a small village in India along with her husband, Kishtaya, who is a deaf-mute. Both husband and wife work for the wealthy landlord. The landlord's son, Surya, has to cancel his studies and return home to look after the estate, as well as formalize his marriage to Saroj, the girl he was compelled to get married to when he was very young. Shortly thereafter Kishtaya is apprehended stealing toddy from the fields, is severely beaten, left senseless, and when he recovers he absconds, leaving Laxmi alone to fend for herself. Surya finds her attractive and starts an intimate relationship with her, much to the chagrin of the rest of the family. Things only get worse when Saroj moves in to live with Surya - compelling him to make a final decision about a visibly pregnant Laxmi. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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Did You Know?


Shabana Azmi got Adil Aman a meeting with Shyam Benegal. The role was for the one eventually done by Anant Nag. Adil Aman refused it as he felt it was a negative role. See more »

User Reviews

Moving, political look at woman and the caste system in the 1950s
19 January 2012 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

Very moving and powerful look at both the caste system and the treatment of women as objects in rural India, in the early 1950s.

A young woman from the serf class is taken in and slowly seduced by her arrogant, handsome young "master" whose house she keeps. But when she becomes pregnant, and his promised child bride finally becomes old enough to join him in the house, our heroine is slowly, painfully pushed aside and locked out.

The film is occasionally heavy handed in its politics, but the truth behind the story makes the slightly agit-prop nature forgivable.

This has none of the singing, dancing and theatrics we have come to associate with modern Indian cinema. This hearkens back to the stark, quiet realism of Satyajit Ray, with complex characters and surprising subtlety.

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Release Date:

2 January 2019 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Ankur: The Seedling See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Blaze Film Enterprises See more »
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Technical Specs


| (MUBI)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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