Sati (film)

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DVD cover
Directed byAparna Sen
Produced byNFDC
Screenplay byAparna Sen
Arun Banerjee
Story byKamal Kumar Majumdar
StarringShabana Azmi
Music byChidananda Das Gupta
Chandan Raichaudhri
CinematographyAshok Mehta
Edited byShaktipada Roy
Release date
  • 23 November 1989 (1989-11-23) (India)
Running time
140 minutes

Sati is a Bengali film released in 1989 written and directed by Aparna Sen. Based on a story by Kamal Kumar Majumdar,[1] the film is about mute orphan girl who is married to a Banyan tree because her horoscope suggests that she would be a sati, and her husband would die. The film had Shabana Azmi and Arun Banerjee in lead roles.[2]

Along with her previous films, Parama (1984), Aparna Sen became the first female director in Bengali cinema to explore gender issues and feminist perspective.[3][4]


The young Brahmin girl (Shabana Azmi) in this story has a disastrous horoscope. In an Indian village in 1828, this can be a real handicap. The fact that she is mute only compounds her difficulties. Her horoscope predicts that she will become a widow at an early age. If this turns out as predicted, in addition to being bad luck for her prospective husbands, it is bad luck for her, as she will, according to the customs of the time, have to commit suttee, sati. That means she will have to be burned alive on her husband's funeral pyre. To avoid this fate, her family has hit upon the appealing strategem of having her marry a banyan tree.



  1. ^ Gulzar, Govind Nihalani, Saibal Chatterjee (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema: historical record, the business and its future, narrative forms, analysis of the medium, milestones, biographies. Popular Prakashan. p. 337. ISBN 81-7991-066-0. Retrieved 10 January 2009.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Aparna Sen Profile". Chaosmag, Indian Cinema Database. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  3. ^ Nalini Natarajan; Emmanuel Sampath Nelson (1 January 1996). Handbook of Twentieth-century Literatures of India. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 420–. ISBN 978-0-313-28778-7.
  4. ^ Geetha Ramanathan (1 January 2006). Feminist Auteurs: Reading Women's Films. Wallflower Press. pp. 110–. ISBN 978-1-904764-69-4.

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