Shyam Benegal season coming to Channel 4

The next two Hindi films on Channel 4 will make up a short run of Shyam Benegal pictures.

The first of these is 2008’s Welcome To Sajjanpur, a portrait of modern Indian village life as told through Mahadev, the only literate man in the community.

He aspires to be a novelist but makes a living as a letter writer, with clients who include his now-married childhood crush, a superstitious widow trying to marry her daughter to a dog and a eunuch who wants to be a politician.

The second and final film in the season is Benegal’s Well Done Abba! released just last year.

The satire is a follow up to Welcome To Sajjanpur and focuses on the endemic corruption and low-level inefficiency that derails many Indian schemes to help the poor.

Chauffeur Armaan Ali takes a month’s holiday to go back to his village and on his return three months later is threatened with the sack.

Explaining the reason for his delay Ali tells of the well he was building for his home, the bureaucracy he was engulfed in and the measures he resorted to.

Elsewhere on this blog you can find the other Hindi films shown on Channel 4, including the short Mani Kaul season that will preceed the two films above.

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