Dharmaputra | Chicago Reader

Dharmaputra

Yash Chopra's black-and-white Indian feature (1961) opens in 1925, as the illegitimate child of a Muslim family is adopted by the Hindus next door. The families have built a third-story bridge between their houses, where they watch anticolonial marchers in the street below chanting, “Hindu, Muslim—we are brothers!” But by 1947 the crowds are chanting, “One religion, one culture,” and the child, ignorant of his past, has become a fiery Hindu fundamentalist. Chopra, who witnessed firsthand the religious bloodshed of 1947, urges tolerance in the song-and-dance numbers but still foregrounds such controversial issues as modernization and British imperialism. 148 min.

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