Uski Roti (His Bread) from the late Indian director Mani Kaul, who passed away in July 2011, is now considered one of Indian New Cinema's most significant films.
Based on a short story by the celebrated Hindi writer Mohan Rakesh, and shot in black and white, the drama is set in rural Punjab and tells the story of Balo (Garima), the young wife of a long-distance truck driver, Sucha Singh (Gurdeep Singh), and her young sister.
Balo's life revolves around her surly, absent husband, who comes home just once a week, and is rumoured to have a mistress (Savita Bajaj) in a nearby town.
Balo walks for miles from her home and waits for countless hours until her husband's truck drives through the village so that she can give him the food she has prepared for him.
He, on the other hand, is oblivious to his wife's devotion, preferring to play cards with his friends.
The bleak portrayal of Balo's life is a great departure from the archetypal Indian movie, its austere and poetic style more reminiscent of Robert Bresson's work.
Mani Kaul takes us on a moving journey into the internal life of his protagonist, and KK Mahajan's cinematography will linger long in the viewer's mind.
In Hindi with English subtitles.