Half a century after its release, the cinematic appeal of Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) has not only endured but continues to grow. Central to its fame perhaps is the tour de force performance from Hindi cinema's foremost tragedienne, Meena Kumari, in the award-winning role of Chhoti Bahu, a woman defiantly struggling against a life of material privilege but personal desolation. Directed by the renowned writer, Abrar Alvi, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, adapted from Bimal Mitra's eponymous Bengali novel, Shaheb Bibi Golam, intrepidly explores the layered relationship that develops between Chhoti Bahu, a neglected, cloistered housewife, and Bhootnath, her male confidante, against the backdrop of late 19th-century feudal Calcutta. The film addresses complex interpersonal relationships with a wealth of subtlety and grace and throws light upon the exigencies of life for those under the yoke of the zamindari system in British India.
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Fiction , Drama
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