The film begins after India has been divided into India and Pakistan. A man named Ishwar Chakraborty and his sister are refugees from Pakistan who are living on land in the suburbs of Calcutta. The landlords want to force them off and they witness a lower caste woman being taken away from her son. Ishwar takes in the son. Shortly afterwards Gandhi is assassinated. Disillusioned, he takes a job in a foundry workshop and moves to a home along the banks of the Subarnarekha river. The rest of the world seems to be making progress such as entering outer space. Ishwar goes backwards as caste bigotry arises within him bringing tragic consequences for him, his sister, and adopted son.
While there is a bit of singing in this film it’s far from Bollywood. The singing arises naturally and it emphasizes and amplifies the tragedy. The cinematography has a realist feel that makes the characters seem small against their surroundings leaving a surreal foreboding as the tragedy unfolds.
I recommend it.