Mana Desam (1949)

 ●  Telugu ● 2 hrs 52 mins

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Produced by the actress Krishnaveni, this is a political melodrama about India’s freedom struggle. Shobha (Krishnaveni), a critic of the Congress Party, argues with Madhu (Narayana Rao), a supporter, and they fall in love. Both get caught up in repressive police violence and are arrested. When independence is achieved,Madhu develops amnesia as a result of torture by the police, but his memory returns and eventually he marries Shobha. The film included several symbolic scenes including a prostitute and a bottle of liquor in front of a Gandhi portrait while a Nagaiah song bemoans the speed at which India forgot Gandhi’s teachings. Remembered mainly as Telugu megastar N.T. Rama Rao’s debut as a police inspector, and as singer Ghantasala’s first composing assignment. The film relies heavily on Burrakatha and Oggukatha folk forms, introduced here via songwriter Raghavacharya and widely used in the propagandist theatre of the Praja Natya Mandali (see IPTA).

Cast: C Krishnaveni, CH Narayana Rao, Chittor V Nagaiah, Taraka Rama Rao Nandamuri

Crew: LV Prasad (Director), MA Rehman (Director of Photography), Ghantasala Venkateswararao (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Drama

Release Dates: 24 Nov 1949 (India)

Telugu Name: మన దేశం

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Did you know? The film marks the screen debut of veteran actor N. T. Rama Rao. Read More
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Black & White
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24 fps
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The film marks the screen debut of veteran actor N. T. Rama Rao.

The film is also popular for introducing popular singer Ghantasala as a music director and famous south Indian singer P. Leela to the Telugu audience.

Krishnaveni used traditional storytelling techniques of Burra katha, Oggu Katha and stage dramas like Veedhi Natakalu in the movie.

'Mana Desam' is the first Telugu movie to be based on a Bengali movie.