The real Indian woman on the silver screen was a Smita Patil as Sonbai or a Bindoo, a Shabana Azmi as Laxmi or Shushila and a Deepti Naval as Neha or Geeta. These were actors who dished out stellar performances in their films, which made waves in the times when they were released for giving rise to a movement in films termed as social realism. Hard-hitting and profound, the artistic renderings of these chiseled actors of yesteryears are gems of the Indian cinema. We celebrate these actors and their films which can well be termed as classics in our cinematic history.
A way from the run-of-the-mill, candy floss, glamour-laden and in your face mainstream cinema, came a refreshing wave of parallel cinema for the film aficionados in the early 80’s. These films were content driven where the story was the master and the characters plucked from the everyday happenings in smaller cities and villages of India were the stars of the films. It was social realism at its best. In these films the women were not just eye candy or glamorous props who were thrust in a film to cheer on the hero when he performed his stunts or managed to free her from the stereotypical lusty intentions of the villain. Neither were they the glamour dolls who were made to dance on hip-shaking numbers to woo the front seat masses. These were women who were just like any other ordinary woman on the streets of India. Women, who looked, talked and behaved just like any of us. These were women who weren’t looked at with awe for being the polished and impeccable apsaras which were ruling the roost in the mainstream Hindi films, but were women of substance who gave their audiences major goals when it came to being strong-willed, original and fearless in their pursuit of truth and being right in their skins.
The rise of the parallel cinema movement gave rise to a new class of heroines who were strong, bold, unconventional and managed to give rise to and lead meaningful movement and changes in the regressive, patriarchal society of the country. Infact in many of these films the heroines performed meatier roles than their male counterparts.
A Mitti Ki Aurat
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THE TALENT 2021
This March, as we celebrate the spirit of women empowerment and feminine power on Women’s Day, we take a glance into the lives of women who have conquered tough times to shine bright and they are the heroes of their own stories.
WOMEN EMPOWERING WOMEN
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