The critically acclaimed motion picture 1000 RUPEE NOTE opens theatrically on September 23 in New York. Directed by Shrihari Sathe, the Maharashtra-set film about a widow who comes across a small fortune has won rave reviews with the Times of India remarking “the director has struck gold with his first film!” and the Orlando Weekly saying, “Clear and emotionally powerful”
Winner of over 30 awards from film festivals around the world, 1000 Rupee Note won both the Special Jury Award (Silver Peacock) and Centenary Award for Best Film at the International Film Festival of India. It also swept the Maharashtra State Film Awards winning Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress (Special Mention), and Best Supporting Actor. It also won at the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival- Best Director (Jury Award) and Best Actress (Critics Choice), Best Story.
Budhi, a widow, lives in a small village in Maharashtra, India. Her only son, a young farmer, has committed suicide. Though poor and left alone in the world, she leads a cheerful life. She is particularly fond of her neighbor, young Sudama with whom she shares the small pleasures of life. A local politician gives her a few 1000 rupee notes at an election rally. She and Sudama go shopping to the nearby market with her newfound wealth, but fate has other plans for them.
Talking about the film, the director said, “With 1000 Rupee Note (original title Ek Hazarachi Note), I wanted to challenge myself by telling the story of a passive character that bears a strong resemblance to Indian rural society; a society where people perpetually wait for something nice to happen to them. With a fair share of both charming and dubious characters, I have tried to put forth a simple narrative that feels part neo-realist and part dark fairy tale. Cinema is the confluence of many arts but it also relies heavily on human emotion- the need to be entertained and ultimately to be moved. I wanted to create an immersive experience by providing the audience access to the characters’ world both visually and aurally.
“I believe that the universality of a story must flow from the specificity of the region and the language. The movie unfolds in a rural setting of a poor farming community in central India. Many farmers in this region are reported to have committed suicide due to poverty, indebtedness and despondency over vagaries of nature. Budhi is a widow and mother of one such farmer. Her story is essentially what can happen to a villager anywhere in contemporary India. The movie follow a minimalist approach in the use of its background score and original songs and captures the simplicity within the rural life in Maharashtra.”