Uski Roti


“…Sucha Singh, tomorrow is Gurpurb. Tomorrow I’ll bring you kadha prasad (halwa)…”

“Yes, yes…”

The bus left. Balo was engulfed in the dust from its wheels. When the dust cleared, she wiped her eyes with the edge of her scarf and looked on at the red light of the bus until it disappeared from her sight.

[by Mohan Rakesh]

उसकी रोटी
Uski Roti (1969)


MANI KAUL: When I made A Day’s Bread, I wanted to completely destroy any semblance of a realistic development, so that I could construct the film almost in the manner of a painter. In fact, I’ve been a painter and a musician. You could make a painting where the brush stroke is completely subservient to the figure, which is what the narrative is, in a film. But you can also make a painting stroke by stroke so that both the figure and the strokes are equal. I constructed A Day’s Bread shot by shot, in this second way, so that the “figure” of the narrative is almost not taking shape in realistic terms. All the cuts are delayed, thought there is a preempting of the generally even rhythm sometimes, when the film is a projection of the woman’s fantasies. 

SEMINARIAN: When you were shooting A Day’s Bread, did you mentally picture those shots? Or did the specific shots come along as you rehearsed?

MAIN KAUL: With a A Day’s Bread, it was strange. I had a dream. In the dream, I saw a filmstrip lying on the floor, and on it I saw all the shots. So I had a very strong sense of what I was going to do.

A Critical Cinema 3: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers