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Directed by Mehboob Khan

India 1957 127 mins.

Unabashedly patriotic, Mother India is an epic celebration of the indomitable spirit that weathered seemingly insurmountable hardships following the country’s independence from Britain. Allegorically told through the many trials and tribulations faced by Radha, a poor village woman (played from youth to old age by charismatic superstar Nargis), the story follows its heroine as she weathers the storms of abandonment, destitution, floods, and fires with the same steely, selfless resolve. Often compared to Gone with the Wind for its epic scope, it was the first Indian film to be nominated for the Best Foreign Film Academy Award. “A defining film in the history of Bollywood. . .often said to have helped set the pattern for the nearly 50 years of Indian film that followed it.”—The New York Times.

Rights provided by Eros Entertainment International, 35mm print provided by the British Film Institute.

Series Program Notes



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.