Nishant (translation: "Night's End") is a 1975 Hindi film directed by Shyam Benegal, and written by noted playwright Vijay Tendulkar.
The film stars Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Smita Patil. This film focus the power of the rural elite and the sexual exploitation of women.
The film won the 1977 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, and was invited to Cannes Film Festival, the London Film Festival 1976, Melbourne International Film Festival 1977, and the Chicago International Film Festival 1977, where it was awarded Golden Plaque .
Vishwam (Naseeruddin Shah
) is the youngest brother of the powerful, and influential village Zamindar (Amrish Puri
). The Zamindar will not hesitate to do anything for the welfare and protection of his family, which also includes bending the law to his own advantage. The shy and quite Vishwam is married to Rukmani (Smita Patil
), and unlike his brothers, does not indulge in alcohol or women, nor does he have any bad habits. Then the village gets a new schoolmaster (Girish Karnad
), who has a wife, Sushilla (Shabana Azmi
). When Vishwam sees for the first time, he is unable to take his eyes off of her, and unable to get her out of his mind. Sushilla does not reciprocate his attentions. Then one night, while the schoolmaster is enjoying a quiet dinner with his family, the bell rings and the two older brothers of Vishwam grab Sushilla and take her forcibly when she goes to answer the door. Several people are present no one dares to raise a hand nor even a voice to stop this abduction.The distraught schoolteacher who is denied justice by everyone from the local police officer to the district collector , is helped by the old priest (Satyadev Dubey
) and finally they succeed in mobilizing the villagers and they slaughter their oppressors.
There is an ironic twist in the end when the frenzied villagers also kill the innocent Rukmani as well as Sushilla whom her husband tried to rescue with the help of this rebellious villagers .