India shares quite a tumultuous relationship with the Academy Awards. The country has submitted over 45 films for nomination in the past, only a fraction of which have been successful in securing so. With 2018 film, Period. End of Sentence being nominated in the Best Documentary Short Subject category this year, here’s a look at the other Indian films that have had the privilege of an Oscar nomination.
Mother India (1957)
Mehboob Khan’s Mother India starring Nargis and Sunil Dutt is a poignant film that narrates the hardships endured by a destitute village woman named Radha, and how she meanders through them and the rigmarole of dreary life, with the utmost adherence to morals. The film presents a moving picture of the rough times that an average Indian woman goes through, and very movingly gives the message of significance of compassion, values and integrity. The film lost by one vote.
An Encounter With Faces (1978)
Nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary short subject, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s An Encounter With Faces is a heartwarming attempt in capturing the plight, perspectives and dimensions of delinquent children of Mumbai. Emotionally rousing, the film looks at their position — socially and culturally in the Indian societal fabric.
Salaam Bombay (1988)
Arguably one of the finest films produced by India, Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay!is a class apart in master storytelling. Movingly strung together by master director and raconteur Nair, the film present a bleak picture of the gaps prevalent in erstwhile Indian society.
Intriguing, absorbing and genuine, Ashutosh Gowarikar’s magnum opus Lagaan is often looked at as a benchmark of excellence in Indian films. Set in pre-independent India, the film looks at the injustice of British colonialism meted on Indians through arbitrary taxes and how these Indians stake their rightful claim to their motherland through a game of cricket. Powered with inspired performances from Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley and Paul Blackthorne, Lagaan invokes a sense of belonging, patriotism and love in the hearts of the audience.
Little Terrorist (2005)
Nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, Ashvin Kumar’s Little Terrorist is a film about a Muslim boy from Pakistan who mistakenly crosses the border to India and finds an unexpected friend and ally in a Hindu Brahmin Boy, Bhola. A story of acceptance, the film seeks to present a picture of the various prejudices we have as a society and how there exist a few good people that overlook these societal differences and espouse for a society of unity, love, happiness and inclusion.
An Indo-Canadian film, Deepa Mehta’s Water is the last installment of her ‘Elements’ trilogy that focusses on the stark misogyny, patriarchy and socio-cultural deprivation faced by widows in India. Blunt, rustic and brutally honest, the films tells the story of a poverty-stricken widow as she fights convention and society to escape from the dogmas of India’s patriarchal, anti-feminist set-up.
Period. End of Sentence (2018)
Nominated in the Documentary Short Subject, Rayka Zehtabchi’s Period. End of Sentence looks at the story of real life Pad-Man Arunachalam Muruganathan’s journey of fighting against the social stigma that surrounds menstruation and the plight of Indian women. Succinctly put and powerfully told, the film is a projection of the current behavioural tendencies of the Indian social psyche, and challenges to change it.
(The Oscars will be telecasted on Star Movies and Star Movies Select HD at 6.30 pm on February 25.)
Writer and Courtesy: The Pioneer