Hari-Bhari (Fertility) is a 2000 Hindi film by Shyam Benegal, starring Shabana Azmi, Rajit Kapur, Rajeshwari Sachdev, Surekha Sikri and Nandita Das in the lead roles.

Directed byShyam Benegal
Produced byNFDC
Written byPriya Chandrasekar (Screenplay)
Shama Zaidi (Screenplay & Dialogue)
StarringShabana Azmi
Rajit Kapur
Rajeshwari Sachdev
Nandita Das
Music byVanraj Bhatia
CinematographyRajan Kothari
Edited byAseem Sinha
Release date
  • 2000 (2000)
Running time
134 minutes

The film revolves around the story of five women, belonging to different generations, each looking emancipation and the right to run their lives their own way. The film's main theme is the issue of women's 'fertility rights' empowerment.

The film won the 2000 National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare.


The movie tells the story of a middle aged Muslim woman Gazala (Shabana Azmi), who is ill-treated by her husband and sent back to her parents’ home, just because she is unable to give birth to a son. Gazala does have a daughter Salma (Rajeshwari Sachdev). The plot revolves around Gazala's stay at her mother's home and the problems faced by the women of the house, namely her mother and sisters-in-law. The film is a beautiful description of the problems faced by women in the name of fertility, or in a different sense the urge to have a male child, especially in rural India.

Shyam Benegal provides a masterpiece, reflecting on the sorrowful plight of rural Indian women. The irony lies in the point where the movie begins with a scene which shows a bull being brought to impregnate a buffalo. Five different women, each with a different story depicting the harsh realities of a woman's life.



External linksEdit