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Photo of Smita Patil
Photo of Smita Patil

Smita Patil

[On the problems of working in commercial cinema]: “They don’t do justice to women. They think any film about a woman is a ‘heroine-oriented’ film and I should be very happy to act in it, even if it shows her in an old formula like that of the tawaif.”

Available to Watch


    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.

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    Shyam Benegal India, 1975

    Based on a play by the noted playwright Vijay Tendulkar, Nishant is a compelling comment on tyrannical social hierarchies which unapologetically enable the oppressor. This visceral Shyam Benegal film is a haunting recreation of rural India’s feudal way of life.

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    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.


    Sagar Sarhadi India, 1982

    Gently lamenting about a society where the poor are forced to choose money over relationships, Bazaar is a touching comment on how every individual is essentially trapped. Poetically used, Ghazals and Nazms add a powerful haunting quality to this film.


    Mohan Kumar India, 1986

    An elderly man and woman, when abandoned by their respective children, find companionship in each other. Portraying the often indifferent attitude of the society towards the elderly, Amrit raises sharp questions about the relevance of biological relationships and societal taboos for the aged.


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