The Servant’s Shirt

Novelist Vinod Shukla collaborated with director Mani Kaul on this 1999 adaptation of Shukla’s book about a young clerk in a small-town government office and his bride during the late 60s. The story focuses on class hierarchy and domestic as well as work spaces (a key early stretch of dialogue compares the space in the couple’s cramped bed to the space in their hearts). This is beautifully short, and the influence of Robert Bresson on Kaul’s subtle inflections of editing and muting of the actors’ styles remains strong and beneficial throughout. 104 min. (JR)

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