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Photo of Shyam Benegal
Photo of Shyam Benegal

Shyam Benegal

“I don’t know why our industry and media gives so much importance to the Oscars. You see it’s very important for Hollywood and foreign films because once one of their films receives an Oscar it goes on to become a big commercial success. Our films won’t get that sort of benefit.”

Available to Watch

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    ANKUR

    Shyam Benegal India, 1974

    Set amidst a complex mesh of feudal power structures and gender oppression, Shyam Benegal’s directorial debut Ankur is a powerful film about the caste system and agency of women. This film also marks the debut of the powerhouse actress of Indian parallel cinema, Shabana Azmi.

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    BHUMIKA

    Shyam Benegal India, 1977

    Featuring Smita Patil’s moving portrayal of an unconventional and fascinating actor, Bhumika is masterful work by Shyam Benegal. Based on the life of 40s Marathi stage actor Hansa Wadkar, this film is a fine study of feminism, male gaze and the price one has to pay for personal freedom.

    THE SEVENTH HORSE OF THE SUN

    Shyam Benegal India, 1992

    Based on a novel by Hindi author Dharamvir Bharati, The Seventh Horse of the Sun weaves reality with fiction to create a mystical ode to the art of storytelling. A poignant meditation on romance, class, and the passing of time, this is a subtly layered portrayal of life ethics in 1990s India.

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    MAMMO

    Shyam Benegal India, 1994

    Questioning the idea of home, roots, and identity, a poignant reflection on the emotional cost of India-Pakistan partition. The struggle unravels through the mundane day-to-day life of a poor family in Mumbai as their once Indian and now Pakistani relative visits them.

    MANDI

    Shyam Benegal India, 1983

    Based on Urdu short story Anandi by Ghulam Abbas, Mandi is a sharp satire on the hypocrisy of society. Questioning the self-appointed guardians of morality and culture, director Shyam Benegal explores the world of sex workers a gaze full of empathy, kindness, and respect.

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