We were discussing events in World history yesterday, when the topic turned to movies (wholly based on real-life events as well as semi-fictional). The depiction of World War 2 in Saving Private Ryan, the brutalness of The Whistleblower, the masterful research and accuracy of the mini-series - Band of Brothers and The Pacific, the sadness in Schindler's List, the visuals in The Last King of Scotland, the brilliant mind in A Beautiful Mind, the barbaricness of Munich.. all were discussed. Not to mention the one not for the faint-hearted - The Passion of the Christ. Many other documentaries and movies chronicling the significant events in History were also discussed. The topic then turned to Indian History and we realised that there are very few Indian movies that successfully chronicle India's History. There have been attempts with movies like Mangal Pandey and Border, but the result was horrible.
Consequently, I am setting out to list Indian movies that depict significant events or matters of social importance. The criteria is that the movie should be great (good acting, great direction), realistic (atleast in its depiction if not the story and characters), should pertain to an important social/historic settings in India. Anything from Harappan Civilisation to Gujrat riots and 26/11 is acceptable.
Readers, I seek your contribution to the list too.
1) Black Friday - Anurag Kashyap's work on 1993 bomb blasts.
2) Parzania - Rahul Dholakia's film on the Gujrat Riots on 2002. Loosely based on a true story.
3) 1947 Earth - Deepa Mehta's (possibly) fictional film set during India's partition in 1947.
4) Water - Deepa Mehta's fictional film set in 1938 when widows were grossly mistreated.
5) Matroobhoomi - Manish Jha's depiction of a world where killing the woman child is so deep-rooted that it leads to a world devoid of women. The story of Kalki (Tulip Joshi) in this world is truly moving.
6) Gandhi - A non-Indian movie.
7) Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi - Sudhir Mishra's movie set during the time of Indira Gandhi.
There are many additions to be made. Please do leave comments :)
Missing are movies from the Freedom Struggle (Vir savarkar, Subhashchandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Tilak and their stories), movies from the Moughal occupation, Shivaji raje, movies on Kargil war, stories of people like Bhanwari Devi, story of Mahatme Phule, stories of sporting legends, etc etc.