Not currently on display at the V&A

Mother India (1957)

Film Poster
1980s (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Since its release in 1957, Mother India has become a national epic. This poster was produced for a later re-release of the film. The image is taken from the film booklet where it was captioned: 'The grain of rice on your table does not tell the grim tale of the toil which grew it'. It depicts the heroine, Radha's struggle to feed her children, their screams giving her the 'strength of a man' to plough the fields and 'soften the breast of mother earth'. The poster symbolises Radha's courage, strength and sense of duty. (Quotes taken from the film booklet).


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Lithograph on paper
Brief description
Indian film poster.
Physical description
The poster is dominated by an image of the film's heroine Radha (Nargis) pulling a plough across some barren land. The pain and anguish is visible on her face and this is enhanced through the technique of 'over-painting' which has been applied to the whole poster. Radha is set again a sunset and in the background we see a line of people roughly drawn leading off into the horizon. This is a key scene from the film in which the villagers are all ready to abandon their land and leave their recently flooded village. It is Radha who persuades them to stay. The entire poster is in rich shades of reds, oranges and browns.



The image is taken from the souvenir booklet which was released at the same time as the film. The original image was designed/painted by L.L. Meganee who was responsible for many early film posters and booklets. Seth Studios enlarged and enhanced this image for a later re-release of the film.
Dimensions
  • Height: 102cm
  • Width: 76cm
Production typeMass produced
Gallery label
This poster was produced for a later re-release of the film. The image is taken from the film booklet where it was captioned: 'The grain of rice on your table does not tell the grim tale of the toil which grew it'. It depicts Radha's struggle to feed her children, their screams giving her the 'strength of a man' to plough the fields and 'soften the breast of mother earth'. The poster symbolises Radha's courage, strength and sense of duty.
Credit line
Given by Mehboob Productions (Private) Ltd., Mumbai, India
Subject depicted
Summary
Since its release in 1957, Mother India has become a national epic. This poster was produced for a later re-release of the film. The image is taken from the film booklet where it was captioned: 'The grain of rice on your table does not tell the grim tale of the toil which grew it'. It depicts the heroine, Radha's struggle to feed her children, their screams giving her the 'strength of a man' to plough the fields and 'soften the breast of mother earth'. The poster symbolises Radha's courage, strength and sense of duty. (Quotes taken from the film booklet).
Associated objects
Bibliographic reference
Rachel Dwyer & Divia Patel, Cinema India: The Visual Culture of the Hindi Film, Reaktion Press, 2002.
Collection
Accession number
IS.9-2001

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Record createdAugust 8, 2001
Record URL
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