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Roti 1942

Directed by Mehboob Khan, the film Roti is a scathing criticism of the class struggle and the exploitation of the poor masses by the wealthy upper class minority. The story contrasts the urban aristocratic life, stuffed with pretensions and profligacy, against the simple life of the tribal people.

The word roti in Hindi means bread the significance of which is there at the very opening of the film in which a group of impoverished souls are shown running after one loaf of bread. Khan during this stage of his filmmaking was much obsessed with the rustic culture and the pathetic plight of the oppressed masses in rural backgrounds.
The narrative pivots around an imposter Laxmi Das (played by Chandramohan) who poses as the son of a wealthy and widowed owner of a garments factory and whose greed is contrasted with the socialism of a primitive tribe living in a remote jungle. Their chief Balam (played by Sheikh Mukhtar) believes that produce of the fields should be equally distributed among the members of the tribe.
The movie also deals with urban dehumanization, economic and gender roles and mass migration of rustic populace to the cities and their consequential degradation in slums. The film features the renowned Kathak dancer Sitara Devi and ghazal singer Akhtari Bai Faizabadi in major roles. Music was composed by Anil Biswas and was produced by National Studios.