Sakshi (transl. Witness) is a 1967 Indian Telugu-language drama film directed by Bapu from a story written by Mullapudi Venkata Ramana. It features an ensemble cast including Krishna, Jagga Rao, Ramana Panthulu, R. Ranga Rao, Raja Babu, Vijaya Nirmala, Allu Venkateswarlu and Chalapathi Rao. It is based on Ramana’s 1959 story of the same name which itself was inspired by the 1952 American film High Noon. In Sakshi, a naive and bucolic boatman is exploited by society and turns into a hard-hearted person.
Kishtaiah is a naive and bucolic boatman living in Dachampaadu, an islet in the Godavari belt. In the same area lives Fakir, a dreaded criminal. The village head, known by his title Munasabu, hires Fakir as his lorry driver to transport coconuts to the town. The only person Fakir cares for in the village is his sister Chukka. He abandons Ratthi, a woman who was madly in love with him. Kishtaiah’s uncle Gourayya and his fellow guard are murdered by Fakir when trying to stop him from stealing coconuts from Munasabu’s garden. As Kishtaiah is the sole witness to these murders, the village elders force him to testify against Fakir in court.
Fakir is arrested, but vows revenge. He escapes from prison, and no villager gives Kishtaiah shelter. Chukka marries Kishtaiah, in the hope that her brother would not kill him. Fakir is unaware of this and attacks Kishtaiah, who eventually abandons his naive persona and kills Fakir. All the villagers who earlier shunned Kishtaiah now surround him, but Kishtaiah, disgusted with their selfish behaviour, leaves the village and surrenders to the police.
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