Failure of realism

Print edition : April 04, 2014

A scene from Satyajit Ray's "Pather Panchali".

Vasudeva Rao and Venkatesh in "Chomana Dudi" (Kannada) directed by B.V. Karanth, one of a series of films in the 1970s depicting the plight of victims of social oppression. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Balraj Sahni in "Garam Hawa", a realist film set at the time of Partition, which uses the conventions and passive grammar of the popular film. Photo: The Hindu Archives

From "The Lunchbox", which illustrates the rise of realism as a commerical option through the independent film. Realistic on the surface, such films replicate the methods of traditional Indian cinema.

Shyam Benegal. Photo: S. Mahinsha

Mrinal Sen. Photo: The Hindu Archives

Girish Kasaravalli. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

B.V. Karanth.

Syed Mirza. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

When Indian art cinema, with encouragement from the state, began as a movement around 1970, it did not take its aesthetic from Pather Panchali but from Dharti Ke Lal.
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