5 Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians

3:00 am 16 Oct, 2014

Well, if you’re a movie buff, then you must know that fair numbers of biographical films are directed around the year in Indian, some of which excel as blockbusters while the others, like most other films, fail to get proper response. But, more than often, these films surround the lives and times of the who’s-who of Indian culture and history. However, these few films that we’re going to discuss now, talk about the rural people and the tribal people who give India its distinct flavor and characteristics, but sadly, aren’t much discussed about. So, read on to know more about these great films—

5. Acting Like a Thief

A short film of 15 minutes, Acting Like a Thief deals about a tribal theatre group in Ahmedabad. Inspired by Mahashweta Devi’s noted work, this Budhan Theatre worked to transform the lives of the people of the Chhara Tribal Community, including its women and children.

Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians

The film pictures an 1871 event when one of the leading playwrights of the theatre groups was arrested by the British Raj followed by typifying the tribal people as “natural criminals”.

Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians

What the film wants to project is the fact that, no matter whether it’s the British Raj or the Independent “Indian Raj”, little to nothing has changed for these folks. The film is made by Shashwati Talukdar and P. Kerim Friedman.

4. In the Forest Hangs a Bridge

All of 39 minutes, this film by Sanjay Kak hails the work of a few tribal people from the prejudiced North Eastern part of India. Set in the deep forested areas of the Siang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh, the film chronicles the sincere efforts of the residents of Damro Village who got together to build a 1000 ft suspension bridge.

Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians

All they had as tools was a dao or a machete made of tampered steel and their equipments were cane and bamboo.

Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians

The film projects the metaphor that unity and companionship (in the broadest sense of the term) is the ultimate strength that can make the impossible possible.

3. There is a Fire in Our Forest

Yet another short film in this list, this film by Krishnendu Bose focuses on an untold story about the Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians


This tiger reserve witnessed one of the mammoth adivasi relocation ever in India, in 1970. Although much applause was provided to the then Government for this attempt at making a Tiger Reserve, the harsh reality of relocation and the other untold end of the story has always been overlooked.

Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians

The film tries to give a voice to this adivasi story. We recommend this film to everyone who’s keen on learning the atrocities done on the prejudiced subalterns throughout the centuries.

2. Notes on Man Capture

Another brilliant and captivating film, this film takes us on a surprise ride across a quaint village in the Garo Hills where men are captures and ambushed to get married to women within the same community.

Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians

The film is specifically a note on a young single mother who has all the freedom to choose the suitable man from among a chain of her past lovers.

Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians

With an easy narration bordering on humor, this film takes up on the patriarchal powerplay of India, and how some communities massively makes this structure fall completely flat. This 43 minutes film is a must watch indeed, and has been directed by Nandini Bedi.

1. Have You Seen the Arana?

Well, if you thought that short films always have to be sternly propagandist, then this film can break all your preconceived notions.

Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians

This lyrical film, all of 73 minutes, features the beautiful countryside of Wayanad, in Kerala, and showcases with brilliant photography and an equally evocative narrative, how this quaint village is slowly losing out on its treasure of medicinal plants due to the atrocities of technology and developments.

Films That Aptly Reflected Upon The Lives Of Indigenous Indians

The brilliant theme music renders a poetic aspect to this film, making this a must watch for all. The film is made by Sunanda Bhat.

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