Movies for Thinking about Communal Violence in India

by RRHowell41 | created - 06 Oct 2010 | updated - 27 Nov 2010 | Public

Communal violence has been a difficulty in India since partition and before. It has been considered in many ways in Indian cinema.

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1. Dev (2004)

172 min | Drama

Joint Commissioner of Police Dev Pratap Singh, a duty-bound, self-righteous officer, and Special Commissioner Tejinder Khosla, the balancing force between the political interests of Chief ... See full summary »

Director: Govind Nihalani | Stars: Amitabh Bachchan, Om Puri, Fardeen Khan, Kareena Kapoor

Votes: 1,197

Loosely related to the Gujarati riots.

2. Delhi-6 (2009)

Not Rated | 141 min | Comedy, Drama

45 Metascore

A story about love, hope and self-discovery set in the walled city of Delhi (zip code 6) and its chaotic but touching life that forces us to ask questions about ourselves.

Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra | Stars: Waheeda Rehman, Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor

Votes: 6,118 | Gross: $0.88M

A fantasy scenario where religious violence does not quite erupt, but in which you see how it could.

3. Khakee (2004)

174 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A team of police force escorts an alleged terrorist from Chandangarh to Mumbai. However their trip turns into a deadly survival when an ex-cop tries to stop them to reach Mumbai.

Director: Rajkumar Santoshi | Stars: Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Votes: 13,361

A Muslim doctor is implicated in the starting of religious violence.

4. Destroyed in Love (2006)

Not Rated | 168 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A sweet blind girl Zooni meets a flirty Rehan. She ignores her friends' warnings. It's her time to discover life. Is she making the right love choice?

Director: Kunal Kohli | Stars: Aamir Khan, Kajol, Rishi Kapoor, Tabu

Votes: 27,741 | Gross: $2.10M

This has to do with Kashmir, and the situation there.

5. Firaaq (2008)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, History

Chronicles the devastating impact on vulnerable Muslims in Gujarat after riots.

Director: Nandita Das | Stars: Inaamulhaq, Nassar, Shahana Goswami, Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Votes: 1,677

An excellent movie about the aftermath of the Gujarati riots. The main action starts about a month after, with people rebuilding their lives.

6. Amu (2005)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama

54 Metascore

Amu is the story of an Indian American woman who returns to India. The film takes a dark turn as Kaju learns that a horrifying genocide that took place twenty years ago turns out to hold the key to her mysterious origins.

Director: Shonali Bose | Stars: Konkona Sen Sharma, Yashpal Sharma, Brinda Karat, Ankur Khanna

Votes: 770 | Gross: $0.01M

A college aged girl comes back to India, having left as a child, searching for her roots, and discovers the history of the Delhi massacres of the Sikhs.

7. Zakhm (1998)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

Amidst religious riots, a son deals with his mother's life-threatening injuries, and her last request.

Director: Mahesh Bhatt | Stars: Ajay Devgn, Pooja Bhatt, Sonali Bendre, Kunal Khemu

Votes: 2,519

Very powerful movie about people coping with inter-religious violence and past personal secrets.

8. Black & White (I) (2008)

Not Rated | 134 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A spy living in the house in disguise, who has a heart transformation.

Director: Subhash Ghai | Stars: Anil Kapoor, Anurag Sinha, Shefali Shah, Arun Bakshi

Votes: 525

Movie about a Muslim terrorist who comes to Delhi to commit a suicide bombing, and who sees a different picture of life in India than he had expected.

9. Krantiveer (1994)

Not Rated | 159 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Disowned by his parents at a young age Pratap Narayan Tilak ended up in a small time village controlled by underworld dons and some very powerful and influential politicians. Lazy, ... See full summary »

Director: Mehul Kumar | Stars: Dimple Kapadia, Nana Patekar, Atul Agnihotri, Mamta Kulkarni

Votes: 1,551

Asks questions about what really fuels religious violence in India.

10. Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002)

120 min | Drama

50 Metascore

During a bus journey, a devout Hindu Brahmin woman protects a Muslim man when communal rioting breaks out.

Director: Aparna Sen | Stars: Rahul Bose, Konkona Sen Sharma, Bhisham Sahni, Surekha Sikri

Votes: 4,426

A Muslim man and a Hindu woman thrown together as travelling companions in a very difficult situation.

11. Y.M.I. Yeh Mera India (2008)

137 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Lives of several people intertwine during an eventful day in Mumbai.

Director: N. Chandra | Stars: Anupam Kher, Atul Kulkarni, Milind Gunaji, Aakash Pandey

Votes: 824

This movie starts by saying, in effect, India has a lot of problems, but only God could see her through them as well as has been done.

One day in Mumbai.

12. Dharm (2007)

105 min | Drama, History

The movie is about a Hindu priest Pandit Chaturvedi (Pankaj Kapur) who is one of the most highly respected priests in the entire city of Varanasi. A man who lives for his religion, soaked ... See full summary »

Director: Bhavna Talwar | Stars: Pankaj Kapur, Supriya Pathak, Pankaj Tripathi, Daya Shankar Pandey

Votes: 866

A conservative Brahmin struggles with prejudice in himself and in his community.

13. Pinjar (2003)

188 min | Drama

In the days leading up to Partition, a Hindu woman is abducted by a Muslim man. Soon, she finds herself not only forced into marriage, but living in a new country as the borders between India and Pakistan are drawn.

Director: Chandra Prakash Dwivedi | Stars: Urmila Matondkar, Manoj Bajpayee, Sanjay Suri, Sandali Sinha

Votes: 2,269

Issues of women separated during the partition, and issues of repatriation and its problems. Shows only one side of what was definitely a situation that had a mirror image, but still extremely valuable.

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