(aka "Ekdin Pratidin" or "And Quiet Rolls the Dawn")

directed by Mrinal Sen
India 1979


A Bengali film in that it is untypically devoid of all the trapping conventions of Bollywood - no extensive dance numbers or excessive melodrama etc.. "Quiet Rolls the Dawn" is a fine film focusing on a short span of an evening where a families bread-winner, the eldest daughter, does not return home one night on her expected schedule. Through this event we see a dynamic range of communication. The neighbors (10 other families) closely existing in the tenement house where they reside are on the verge of offering assistance while quietly gossiping about what has happened to her. Some elderly females relate the double standard that if this was a male staying out late what people who think as opposed to an unmarried girl - how unfortunate it is to be born a female. After visiting police, morgue and hospitals to find her, back at a home they resign themselves they will never see her again. The girl's sister, Minu, expresses her displeasure towards her parents disconcerted attitude, claiming they are worrying more because she supports the family, helping them survive financially, not caring enough about their daughter as a person. Unexpressed emotion is captured very well in facial blank stares. Seemingly the act of her disappearance has forced the family to judge her and acknowledge her possible wants and desires. The performances seem quite real - almost bordering on neo-realism. This is a refreshing, modernistic look at life in Calcutta, India in the late 70's. The juxtaposition of traditional values with a poignant look at a male dominant society that manipulates its standards to suit a situation. This film says quite a lot in a simple and interesting way. out of       

Gary W. Tooze


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