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Thoughts in motion for Media Studies & H.O.C

Mother India: The Sacrifice of a Mother

Filed under: Class blog posts — Natalie Bernabe at 5:34 am on Thursday, November 17, 2011

 

This was a hard movie to digest, and not just because of the language barrier, I’ll tell you that! I mean, it was definitely inspiring and a great film of its time and all, it’s just i do not prefer traditional Indian movies in general, especially Bollywood (which i think is the ONLY movie industry in India??). I may be wrong, but anything that randomly has people signing and dancing has always been iffy to me. Except for the show GLEE, but i suppose it has to do with the fact that they are singing songs we already know and incorporating them into scenarios; NOT making up a bunch of their own and expecting anyone other than kids to like it (H.S. Musical? EW).

yes

 

oh yes, I WENT THERE.

Besides the fact of the few musical numbers, I did like the serious themes and some scenes in this film. The message of India’s struggles for indepof my ranting, I’ll move on to thisendence  and freedom were expressed by the suffering of a mother with poverty and children. It was very invoking and powerful, as one will know that a mother will almost always fight for her children.

The scene I decided to focus on is the final scene, where everything reaches its climax. It is not only emotionally impacting, but visually as well. The part I start is with the murder of Sukhilala, who is the moneylender of the main character mother figure, Radha, who is struck by severe poverty with the abandonment of her husband and the failure of the crop. As life goes, one of her two sons, Birju, is very resentful to what has befallen his family, and holds an intense grudge against Sukhilala. Which is why he decides to murder him, and as he and his bandit friends make a small circle around him, Sukhilala is terrified as Briju twirls him around and stabs him. He then dumps his body unto the feet of his daughter, who cowers behind her betrothed. A confrontation between the two ensures. And the daughter and a friend grab a gun and run away.

As the betrothed fights Birju, one notices the way he sings the oar with fire on it; it is circular swings. I believe circles have a lot of significance in this film; as if they are representing never ending cycles of violence or something. Birju fights off the fiance, and carries off the bride-to-be. He is then confronted by the mother, who is now holding the gun. He does not listen to the heed of his mother’s words, and she is forced to shoot him, which is rare in Hindu films.

‘Cause She’s a WOMAN.

As he goes slowly towards his mother, bloody and everything, he tries to hand her something circular that he took from Sukhilala’s household. She runs towards him and clutches him in her arms. She screams his name while blood is staining her hands. The blood then becomes a reddish water in a canal, where we see the ‘present’ time.

The reddish water could signify the blood she was forced to spill and her anguished sacrifices over the years. It does become clear, however, probably signifying peace and cleansing of her village. This was the scene that impacted me most of all, because it is extremely hard to witness the death of someone you love, especially if you are forced to commit it. The relationship between Sukhilala and Radha is very similar to the power Britain had over India, and how India sought freedom and independence. Also the red water in the canal can signify the blood India had to shed for them to gain independence.

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