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Bhavni Bhavai
Directed by Ketan Mehta
Written by Ketan Mehta
Starring Naseeruddin Shah
Smita Patil
Music by Gaurang Vyas
Cinematography Pammy
Release date(s) 1980
Country India India
Language Gujarati

Bhavni Bhavai (A Folk Tale in English) is a 1980 Gujarati film directed by Ketan Mehta. Ketan Mehta's debut film is a successful adaptation of folk idioms into cinema. The film is dedicated to Bertolt Brecht, Goscinny and to the inventor of the Bhavai, Asait Thakore, who was a Brahmin outcast and lived among the lower caste communities. His descendants, the Targalas, are the traditional Gujarati performers of the plays he wrote. The Bhavai evolved into one of India's most energetic folk music and dance-dramas. The film is in the form of a story told by a group of Harijans migrating to a city pausing for a night. Documentary footage of India's freedom struggle as well as references to contemporary violent caste riots in Ahmedabad and severe drought in North Gujarat is employed in the film.


The plot involves a king who wants his vav (Stepwell) be filled with water. To get the water, a batrish lakshano (person with 32 qualities) need to be sacrificed. Unfortunately, that kind of person is among the Mahyavanshi "MAHYO"(lower caste people). The Mahyavanshi put up a resistance to give the kid up, but then they have to give up the kid for the sacrifice.

The film won critical acclaim when released, though more for its format than the story.

Cast and crew

External links


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