On April 13th, 1919, acting Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered troops of the British Indian Army to fire their rifles into a crowd of unarmed Indian civilians in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab. The horrific event, that happened 103 years ago, took the life of at least 379 people and injured more than 1,200 other people. The incident has been shown in multiple movies. Here is a list of films that brought to the light the atrocities of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre:
Anushka Sharma played a spirit from pre-independence India searching for her fiancé Diljit Dosanjh. This moving love story has a dramatic ending based on the atrocious Jallianwala Bagh massacre that will leave you in tears.
Vicky Kaushal’s film showed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in an intense way. Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar directed the scene in a way so that the audience viewing the movie felt the chills run down their spine. It is by far the longest representation of the incident onscreen, and Kaushal managed to bring out the emotion of the scene perfectly. While the movie was about Sardar Udham Singh’s life, this was the incident that shaped the way his life progressed and this is one of the prime reasons why he became a freedom fighter.
Midnight’s Children is a feature film adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s 1981 novel of the same name. The book has an entire chapter dedicated to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the movie also features a scene on the same topic. Directed by Deepa Mehta, it got mostly positive reviews from the audience.
Omprakash Mehra’s multi-starrer movie Rang De Basanti (2006) depicted the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in the most honest way. It used the incident as a metaphor for corrupt politicians, policemen, and government officials, and how a young IAF pilot lost his life due to the system. It earned National Film Award for Best Popular Film, along with several other accolades, including a nomination for BAFTA Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Ajay Devgn played revolutionary socialist Bhagat Singh in this movie helmed by Rajkumar Santoshi. It has a scene showing Bhagat Singh as a young Sikh boy witnessing the tragic event which changed his life forever. The 2002 release film won two National Film Awards – Best Feature Film Hindi and Ajay Devgn won Best Actor.
Released in 1982, Gandhi is a period biographical movie based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Directed by Richard Attenborough, it talks about the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in a moving speech by Gandhiji. The re-enactment of the brutal and shocking incident is sure to make you tear up. Gandhi earned 11 nominations at the 55th Academy Awards and won eight, including the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Ben Kingsley.
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