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1,427 Ratings


The Seedling

Directed by Shyam Benegal
India, 1974


In Shyam Benegal’s stunning first narrative feature, the ne’er-do-well son of an absentee landlord is dispatched to oversee his father’s land, whereupon he takes as his mistress the poor housekeeper Lakshmi, igniting a series of devastating complications.

Our take

Set amidst a complex mesh of feudal power structures and gender oppression, Shyam Benegal’s directorial debut Ankur is a powerful film about the caste system and agency of women. This film also marks the debut of the powerhouse actress of Indian parallel cinema, Shabana Azmi.

Ankur Directed by Shyam Benegal

Critics reviews

Benegal’s masterful screenplay is brilliantly layered as it looks at Surya’s power from the intersections of patriarchy, caste, and class.
April 27, 2020
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It is a relatively simple love story, but it is exquisitely told. Benegal is meticulous with his compositions and color scheme, a film of fiery reds sectioned off into the latticework of windows and doorways – passion siphoned off into a grid.
September 14, 2018
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