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Duvidha. 1973. India. Directed by Mani Kaul. In Hindi; English subtitles. 84 min.
A hypnotic, enigmatic ghost story derived from a Rajasthani folktale, Duvidha endures as a seminal contribution to the Indian cinema of the 1970s. A mischievous (and lonely) ghost seeking company fixates on a beautiful young woman whose merchant husband is away on a five-year business trip (which began the day after their wedding!) and transmutes himself into the man’s doppelganger. But the ghost’s plan goes awry when the husband finally returns home. A strikingly stylized synthesis of folklore and cinematic modernism, Duvidha is a singular work, as attuned to spectral vibrations as it is to the rhythms, rituals, and textures of quotidian life.
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