Studied Art-with-capital-A that hits all the bases you'd expect from a man who wrote an essay titled "To Reach the Static." A generation before Satyajit Ray had watched the films of Chaplin, Renoir, De Sica and Ford. Kaul seems to have been raised by Bresson, Resnais, Bergman, and Antonioni. Much as I like the latter lot there's a cheerlessness, the absence of warmth and generosity of spirit that one finds here.
Like with all of Mani Kaul's films, he has this great ability to not just create films that leave an impact on you but just make you think for days about them. The usage of silences and minimalist imagery helpa to create one of the most brutal, specifically brutally honest films I've ever seen.
Throughout the film's famous preoccupation with hands, consistently the women's in the film were awaiting, serving, or listless with grief; Conversely, the men hands were always *taking*, whether it was a bottle of whiskey or a young girl's arm. In one scene, the town rake take a caterpillar and flings it into a well casually. It's something I cannot imagine any of the helpless women doing.
The ultimate film which defined and made way for art films in India. Uski Roti heavily influenced by Bresson's style of filmmaking. Filmmed in stark balck and white it was in dire need of restoration it wasn't done until late 2011 when it was shown in restored format in film festivals across India. It was also released in DVD format by NFDC which itself is a big boon.