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|Directed by||Hira Singh Khatri|
|Written by||Durga Shrestha
Hari Prasad Rimal
Information Department of Government of Nepal
Aama (Nepali: आमा, transl. Mother) is a 1964 Nepali film directed by Hira Singh Khatri in his directorial debut. The film is written by Durga Shrestha and Chaitya Devi. Aama is produced by Mahendra of Nepal under the banner of Information Department of Government of Nepal (formally Royal Nepal Film Corporation). The film stars Shiva Shankar and Bhuwan Chand in the lead roles, alongside Basundhara Bhusal, Hira Singh Khatri and Hari Prasad Rimal in supporting roles. The film's plot follows a young man who returns home after serving in his country's army. Film director Hira Singh Khatri, was request by Mahendra of Nepal to direct Aama. The film's post-production and indoor filming were mainly done in Kolkata, India. It was released on 7 October 1964. After the release, Aama became the first Nepalese film to be produced in Nepal.
After the film's release in Nepal, it quickly became popular in the country. After the success of Aama, Khatri directed the films Hijo Aaja Bholi (1967), and Parivartan (1971) for the Nepalese government, both of which were used to convey patriotism to Nepalese citizens. Aama is regarded as one of the most important films in the history of Nepalese cinema.
Harka Bahadur is an alcoholic who physically abuses his wife. One day later, his house is being repossessed due to non-payment of loan repayments, after which Harka Bahadur promises his wife he will give up drinking. Later that day, he returns to his house drunk and starts attacking his wife but dies after being struck by lightning. After his death, Harka's son Man Bahadur (Shiva Shankar) leaves his house to join the army.
A few years later, Man returns home after serving in a foreign army for two years but cannot find his mother. After hearing about his mother's death, Man decides to leave Nepal but his neighbours persuade him to stay in the village and serve the community, saying that "service to the motherland is equally virtuous as service to a mother". Man Bahadur says he will remain in Nepal to help his country's growing economy.
Credits adapted from Films Of Nepal.
Mahendra of Nepal requested prominent film director Hira Singh Khatri, who was mainly working in Indian cinema, to direct Aama, which was made to promote the panchayat political system in Nepal. In the early years of Nepalese cinema there was no professional infrastructure in the country to produce, distribute, and present Nepalese cinema. There were no professional actors so the director chose Nepalese singer-songwriter Shiva Shankar and theatrical performer Bhuwan Chand. Shiva Shankar was chosen to play the lead actor in the film because the director's original choice for the role was home sick. The leading female actor Bhuwan Chand remembered being "very excited" about acting in the film; she said it "was one of the incidences of my life I can never forget". At the age of fourteen, Hari Prasad Rimal also made his acting debut in Aama.
Filming on the project lasted between three and four months, and the post-production work, which was completed in Kolkata, India, took about six months. Most of the scenes were filmed in a single take. Bhuwan Chand was paid about 5,000 rupees ($45.01 as of April 2019). Chand told Kathmandu Craze, "the director of the film had asked for cameramen's opinion and he responded in my favour. So it was cameraman Dev and of course the director who were responsible for me receiving the part."
The film premiered on 7 October 1964, in the Kathmandu Valley. Upon release, the film met with success. Sunita of Films Of Nepal wrote, "Aama took the nation by storm". After the success of the film, director Hira Singh Khatri went on to direct Hijo Aaja Bholi (1967), and Parivartan (1971), films which were used to convey patriotism to Nepalese citizens. Aama became an important film in history of Nepalese cinema, after becoming the first Nepalese film to be produced in Nepal. Following its release, the leading actors became publicly prominent. Kathmandu Films, wrote "This [Aama] was the most important event in history of filming in Nepal".
BossNepal wrote, "The title of the movie did justice to it ... Aama (mother) gives us a glimpse of what to expect and meets people's expectations as well. It goes perfectly with the theme of the movie". The reviewer also said, "Aama deserves a watch". Philip Cryan Marshall of Migyul wrote, "Aama was clearly a nation-building tool", and "The image of the mother, a universal symbol of national unity, was used to forward themes of nationalization. Characters ... were dressed in distinct garbs of the nation – men in daura suruwal and dhaka topi and women draped in saree and cholo fariya".
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