On the occasion of Republic Day, here is a look back at important cinematic works. That addressed how discriminatory social behaviours. And systemic problems target identity, gender, race and more even today.
The film treats a humble wedding feast and its ramifications as a conversation starter about divides that exist in society till date. The film also stars Vinay Pathak, Lin Laishram, Dolly Ahluwalia, Adil Hussain, Lanuakum Ao, Tenzin Dalha and Rohan Joshi. The film premiered at the London Film Festival on October 2, 2019. To much critical acclaim, and is also available on Netflix.
This Zee Studios production was directed by Anubhav Sinha. Like Sinha’s thought-provoking ‘Mulk.’ This film also raised important questions about systematic discrimination against the “lesser” Indian. Using Article 15 of the Constitution of India, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. As a peg, the film follows the all too familiar story of rape and the denial of justice and basic human empathy to “lower caste”victims. Starring Ayushmann Khurrana, the movie paints a wrenching picture of caste-based crimes that routinely unfold in rural heartlands and are conveniently buried out of sight.
Hamid, a 2018 film directed by Aijaz Khan shows insightfully how children cope with tragedy and loss in strife-torn regions like Kashmir. Without being sentimental or preachy. The film tells the story of seven-year-old Hamid, played by Talha Arshad Reshi, who in an attempt to reach out to his missing father, ‘dials’ a phone number with the combination of the digits 786. 786, he believes is God’s very own number and one day, someone does answer his call. What happens then ? Rasika Dugal and Vikas Kumar also star in this adaptation of the play Phone No. 786 by Mohd. Amin Bhat. Produced by Yoodlee Films, Hamid is one of the few films that talk about the impact of violence on children. The film won two national awards for Best feature film in Urdu and for Best Child Artist. It is available on Netflix.
This Yoodlee production directed by Vandana Kataria stars Kunal Kapoor, Ali Haji, Mohommad Ali Mir, Muskkaan Jaferi, Shaan Groverr, Soni Razdan in major roles. The film addresses the toxic powerplay that unfolds unseen in educational institutions, targets the vulnerable and destroys them with bullying. ‘Nobleman’ was an unrelenting narrative that revealed to us the corrosive impact of bullying on the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of students. The film cautions against institutional apathy that is complicit in encouraging the culture of ragging and bullying.