Indian director Shyam Benegal’s film ‘Manthan’ on rural oppression was shown in the competition at the International Cannes Film Festival 2024 in France.
The title refers to the organization of the entire village around the creation of a dairy cooperative. This year, Cannes Classics is offering a chance to revisit this social story in a new, restored copy based on the original negative, which is being screened in the presence of one of its main artists, Naseeruddin Shah.

Produced by 500,000 farmers, who contributed Rs 2 each towards the making of the film, “Manthan” is a powerful film about the stormy winds of change in a village, when an idealistic veterinarian from the city moves into the village to start milking. Comes. Cooperative movement. Their notions of equitable distribution of profits across class and caste lines and freedom from exploitative middlemen created a whirlpool of distrust, anger and resistance among feudal landlords and peasants, threatening deeply entrenched social hierarchies based on generations of discrimination. It happens. The story descends into the depths of despair as Dr. Rao has to face false allegations and village politics, but ends on a high with a glimpse of change as the idea of co-operative slowly takes root.