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Movie Review Gallery Stars Nandita Das, Atul Kulkarni, Kshitij
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Cast : Nandita Das, Atul Kulkarni, Kshitij Gawade
Director : Chitra Palekar
Cinematography : Debu Devdhar
Story / Writer : Mahasweta Devi
“Maati Maay” which mean ‘a Grave-keeper’s tale’ is based on a short
story ‘Baayen’ by the well-known writer Mahasweta Devi. It is the
soul-touching story of a young mother trapped between her motherly
instincts and the compulsions of her ancestral duties.
Chandi (played by Nandita Das) is a beautiful young woman from a
lower caste, whose family has traditionally been in charge of a
children’s graveyard. Chandi’s father dies without leaving any male
heir. Chandi takes up the job and performs it with great pride until
she herself becomes a mother. After giving birth to her son
Bhagirath, Chandi starts to get affected by the death of the
children. Handling tiny corpses takes a toll on her body and mind.
Getting more and more troubled while performing their funeral rites,
she wishes she to be relieved of that duty.
Chandi’s husband Narsu (Atul Kulkarni) fails to understand her
turmoil. The community forces her to continue with the job. Unable
to take it anymore, she finally rebels. The villagers, steeped in
ignorance and superstition, become extremely hostile and punish her
in the harshest possible manner.
Twelve years later Narsu, hoping to justify his own actions,
narrates Chandi’s story to their now adolescent son.
If Chandi gets justice in the end, it is only through the love and
courage of her son Bhagirath (Kshitij Gawade) who dares to defy the
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