Vanaja

Vanaja

DVD - 2006 | Telugu
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"Set in rural South India, Vanaja, the 14 year old daughter of a poor fisherman goes to work in the house of the local landlady in hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance. But matters turn ugly when the landlady's son returns pitching her into a battle of caste, class and animus from which there is only one escape." -- Container
Publisher: [New York, N.Y.] : Emerging Pictures, 2006
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (112 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Other Standard Identifier: 894071002007

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a
akirakato
Jul 24, 2013

This is a 2006 Indian melodrama written and directed by Rajnesh Domalpalli on a story that constituted his Master of Fine Arts thesis at Columbia University.
This film was made on a shoestring using a cast of non-professional first-timers for two and a half months.
Set in the backdrop of a rustic state of Andhra Pradesh in Southern India, 14-year-old Vanaja learns Kuchipudi (a classical Indian dance) while being employed at a local landlady's house.
All seems to be going well for her until sexual chemistry evolves between her and Shekhar (the landlady's son).
This eventually leads her being raped by him.
The ensuing pregnancy disrupts her simple life, and she must choose how to deal with the child.
Vanaja hopes that the physical evidence of the child will be proof of the rape and that somehow Shekhar will be brought to justice.
However, Shekhar has no desire to marry Vanaja because she is from a lower caste.
In the end the landlady and Shekhar gain possession of the child, who will grow up to be an upper caste boy.
Although it is often funny, the story is basically a touching and sad tale of how one class can take advantage of another, even in the guise of patronizing benevolence.
You can get a glimpse of a traditional Indian society.

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