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Movies that made these Bollywood filmmakers feel proud to be an Indian

As India celebrates it's  68th Independence Day today, our leading Bollywood directors pick films that made them feel truly glad to be an Indian

For a country that makes the maximum number of films in a year, it’s interesting to see that many have scored well on the quality front as well.

Rang De Basanti (2006) explained the meaning of freedom  in the contemporary context
'Rang De Basanti' (2006) explained the meaning of freedom in the contemporary context

These are films that have made us proud with their content and treatment; more often than not, a mere mention makes us all nod in agreement about their contribution to Indian cinema as a whole.

Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006) added the term Gandhigiri to our vocabulary
'Lage Raho Munna Bhai' (2006) added the term Gandhigiri to our vocabulary

On the occasion of India’s 68th Independence Day, we got some directors to select films that made them feel great about being Indian...

Pather Panchali (1955) was among the  first Indian films to earn global acclaim
'Pather Panchali' (1955) was among the first Indian films to earn global acclaim

Bejoy Nambiar, Actor
Bejoy Nambiar, Actor

His pick: Swades (2004)
Why: “I felt great after watching this film because it’s about a guy who is a reluctant Indian in the beginning. As the story progresses, he begins to understand where he belongs and that’s when he decides to take a step towards improving the situation. The way it was shown made all the difference. Also, the film didn’t convey its message in a pushy fashion.”

Onir
Onir

His pick: Charulata (1964)
Why: “I am proud of the kind of work that Satyajit Ray has done. His job was not limited to directing films; he also took a keen interest in music and costumes. His films showcased India as a country. Charulata, for one, won Ray international and national acclaim.”

Ajay Behl
Ajay Behl

His pick: Bandit Queen (1994)
Why: “Directed by Shekhar Kapur, this film, when shown across the world, resurrected Indian cinema on the world platform. Indian cinema’s image had taken a beating ever since we lost masters like Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy, Ritwik Ghatak and Guru Dutt. But Bandit Queen aimed at bringing back that glory. It is one of the best Indian films ever made.”

Sudhir Mishra
Sudhir Mishra

His pick: Chak De! India (2007)
Why: “To me, this is the most Indian film in recent memory. The film shows that patriotism is not just about hoisting the national flag but also about overcoming problems. Be it religion, caste or class - so many issues persist in our society and all of them have been beautifully tackled in this film. Hockey is just a metaphor here; the players’ struggles in playing together as a team and then delivering is the real deal.”

Kunal Deshmukh
Kunal Deshmukh

His pick: Lagaan (2001)
Why: “For me, that one film would be Lagaan (2001). It took a quantum leap as far as the quality of Bollywood films is concerned. It had a riveting story with fantastic performances. After a long time we were watching an Indian film that took the world by storm. People talked about Aamir’s performance and I was very proud that it was an Indian film.”

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

His pick: Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1958)
Why: “One of the first Indian movies to be appreciated worldwide, it not only won awards but also won hearts.”

Anand L Rai
Anand L Rai

His pick: Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)
Why: “I was really moved by this film. It brought Gandhiji into our lives; he was no longer relegated to the history textbooks. The purpose of filmmaking is that once you watch the film, it needs to leave you with some thoughts, emotions or a smile. If a filmmaker can manage to do that, then he has achieved
his goal of story telling. This film made me think and it shook me from within.”

Shabana Azmi
Shabana Azmi

Her pick: Garam Hawa
Why: “In the aftermath of partition and in spite of many problems, the steadfast belief in democracy makes a young man, played by Farooque Shaikh, opt to stay back in India rather than migrate to Pakistan. This was also the choice my parents made. So Garam Hawa reiterates my belief that India is a secular democratic republic, which, in turn, makes me proud to be an Indian.”

Anubhav Sinha
Anubhav Sinha

His pick: Pather Panchali (1955)
Why: “This Satyajit Ray classic brought Indian films under the global spotlight. In a world, where unlike today, we didn’t have any cyber space to surf, Pather Panchali became a reason why it became important for the world to keep looking at films from India.”

Tigmanshu Dhulia
Tigmanshu Dhulia

His pick: Pather Panchali (1955)
Why: Not only did Pather Panchali win the National Award in 1955, it also got the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Other international awards followed and Sight & Sound magazine ranked the film 42nd in its 2012 list of top 50 greatest films of all time. I am very proud that this is an Indian film.”

Sabbir Khan
Sabbir Khan

His pick: Rang De Basanti (2006)
Why: “This film has never failed to inspire me and it will always make our country proud. It has a complex screenplay that reflects contemporary urban India. But it sends a simple message: if we feel strongly about the country, then we need to stand up and do something about it.”

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