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Barsaat
(Monsoon)

Screening on Film
Directed by Raj Kapoor.
India, 1949, 35mm, black & white, 171 min.
Hindi with English subtitles.

Kapoor first became a star playing the lead in Mehboob Khan’s Andaz (1949), which helped guarantee the success of his second film as a director, Barsaat. He reteamed with Nargis who plays the lost love of the sensitive Kapoor protagonist, much as she did in Aag. In contrast to that fiery film, Barsaat employs frequent water imagery as a metaphor for the flows of desire that unite and separate the film’s two pairs of lovers, whose passion must overcome class differences and callow youth. Fire and water find their union in Barsaat’s sublime final images, as the smoke from a funeral pyre merges with rain clouds.

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Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema

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