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Ghatashraddha (The Ritual) is 1977 Kannada language film directed by Girish Kasaravalli. The film is based on a novella by eminent Kannada writer U R Ananthamurthy.

It won the 1978 National Film Award for Best Film and in 2002 became the only India film at the Film Archive of Parismarker, selected for the Cinema hundredth anniversary celebrations, amongst one of the best 100 in the world .

This was Girish Kasaravalli first feature film as a director, and marked not just the arrival of a new promising filmmaker but also that of Kannada cinema in the India's 'New Cinema' horizon .

The film won, Amit Kumar, the 1978 National Film Award for Best Child Artist, and the 1978 National Film Award for Best Music Direction for B.V. Karanth.

Plot

The film was set in 1920s and depicts a rural village in Karnataka, where a young widow, the daughter of a village scholar who runs a local school, finds herself pregnant after being seduced by a teacher. While the girl remains unaware of the happenings within and around her, she is excommunicated by her father, who performs her funeral rites (Ghatashraddha), while she is still alive. A little boy through whose eyes the entire story is perceived goes back home, after the school is closed down following the incident.

This movie also shows a clear picture of Caste division amogst Brahmins and shudras in quite a few scenes - when the litlle boy tries to touch the shudra slave he actually runs away saying it is not possible. And the before the cliamx scene where the Shudra slave says to the main priest "He had saved his daughter (who got pregnant being an widow) even from the snakes, but could not save her from an Brahmin."

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