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Filmography - National Cinema, India: L - Z

Titles available on DVD and streaming as of December 2015

National Cinema, India

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of December 2015.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library.


Lagaan once upon a time in India. 2001, 1 videodisc (225 min.).  Set in Queen Victoria's India, this is a story about a battle without bloodshed fought by a group of unlikely hereos. Will a game of cricket stop three years of lagaan (tax) for the Indian people?  DVD 312

Lajja. 2001, 1 videodisc (202 min.).  Story of a woman's journey through a difficult life, and how she rebels against it. Film focuses on the atrocities experienced by women in India. Vaidehi, who lives in New York  is unable to tolerate her unfaithful husband any longer and flees to India. She meets Maithili, a runaway bride, Janki, an actress and an unwed mother, and Ramdulaari, a feminist whose goal is to change women's role in society, but who gets publicly gang raped when her son breaks the societal norm when he falls in love with the daughter of the village strongman. DVD 8933 

Late Ray. 2007, 3 videodiscs (357 min.).  Eclipse. Series 40, Late Ray: Eclipse (Criterion Collection).        [disc 1]. Ghare baire = The home and the world (1984 ; 138 min.) -- [disc 2]. Ganashatru -- An enemy of my people (1989 ; 99 min.) -- [disc 3]. Agantuk = The stranger (1991 ; 120 min.) "The films directed by the great Satyajit Ray in the last ten years of his life have a unique dignity and drama. Three of them are collected here: the fervent Rabindranath Tagore adaptation The Home and the World; the vital An Enemy of the People, based on the Henrik Ibsen play; and the filmmaker's final work, the poignant and philosophical family story The Stranger. They are complex, political, and humane depictions of worlds both corrupt and indescribably beautiful, constructed with Ray's characteristic elegance and imbued with autumnal profundity. These late-career features are the meditative works of a master."-- from the container. The Home and the World, set in early twentieth-century Bengal, concerns an aristocratic but progressive man who, in insisting on broadening his more traditional wife's political horizons, drives her into the arms of his radical school chum. An enemy of my people. In Satyajit Ray's absorbing contemporary adaptation of a play by Henrik Ibsen, a good-hearted doctor discovers that the serious illness befalling the citizens of his small Bengali town may be due to a contamination of the holy water at the local temple. The stranger. Based on the filmmaker's own story, The Stranger involves a bourgeois couple who are taken off guard when a man claiming to be the wife's long-lost uncle sends word that he will be coming to stay with them after years of travel. DVD 9943 - 9945

Life in a-- metro. 2007, 1 videodisc (131 min.).  A journey across three stories entangled with one another, joined by a common yet complex thread of love .  DVD 10260

Taare zameen par = Like stars on Earth every child is special. 2007, 2 videodiscs (ca. 165 min.).  Eight-year-old Ishaan can't seem to get anything right in class and gets into more trouble than his parents can handle. They pack him off to boarding school to 'be disciplined, ' and his art teacher, Nikumbh, realizes that something is wrong and sets out to discover what it is. With time, patience, and care, Nikumbh helps Ishaan find himself. DVD 11616

The lunchbox. 2013, 2 videodiscs (ca. 105 min.).  "A mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects Ila, a neglected housewife, to Saajan ... , a lonely man on the verge of  retirement"--Container.  DVD 11490

Mahanagar = The big city. 1963, 2 videodiscs (135 min.).  Set in mid-1950s Calcutta and directed by Satyajit Ray, this story follows the personal triumphs and frustrations of Arati, who decides, despite the initial protests of her bank-clerk husband, to take a job to help support their family. With remarkable sensitivity and attention to the details of everyday working-class life, Ray gradually builds a powerful human drama that is at once a hopeful morality tale and a commentary on the identity of the contemporary Indian woman. The coward: An aspiring screenwriter encounters a former lover, now married, when his car breaks down near her home. DVD 5083

Masala. 1991, 1 videodisc (105 min.).  A black comedy about the god Krishna, summoned to earth by an old woman, a young ex-junkie named Krishna who is coping with the death of his family in a plane crash, and what happens when their paths cross.  DVD 1495

Meghe dhaka tara = The cloud-capped star. 2002, 1 videodisc (122, 10 min.).  "A dark melodrama set in late fifties Calcutta about a refugee family and the struggle of Nita, the oldest daughter, to keep them afloat and together. It is a bitter critique of the family as an institution and also of the harsh social and economic conditions arising from Partition" (container notes).  DVD 10052 and Streaming video.

Midnight's children.  2012, 1 videodisc (148 min.).  At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor woman, and Shiva, the offspring of a wealthy couple, are fated to live the destiny meant for each other. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India's whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters.  DVD 2855

Miral: Is this the face of a terrorist? 2010, 1 videodisc (106 min.).  After she rescues dozens of children who survived a massacre in Jerusalem in 1948, Palestinian Hind Husseini establishes an orphanage that helps thousands of other children left homeless by violence. But the success of her peace-through-education institution is tested when pupil Miral gets a taste of radical politics in the region's refugee camps. DVD 5043

Mission Kashmir. 2000, 1 videodisc (160 min.).  In a strife torn valley of Kashmir, Altaff (Roshan), an orphan of war is adopted by a policeman (Dutt). One day Altaff discovers a shocking truth that converts him into a warrior and he becomes a famed guerilla fighter. The fate of Kashmir depends on a final, ferocious encounter -- Mission Kashmir. DVD 321

Mitr, my friend. 2002, 1 videodisc (145 min.).  An Indian couple and their teenage daughter living in California face culture conflict and learn to live together in friendship.  DVD 7430

Mughal-e-Azam = Mughale azama. 1960, 2 videodiscs (185 min.).  A dramatic spectacular set in the time of the emperor Akbar, at the height of the Moghul power and splendor. The story revolves around a love attachment, doomed for disaster, between heir apparent Prince Salim and a palace slave. This renowned Indian epic, made over a span of 15 years utilized 14 cameras operating simultaneously, with a cast of thousands, horses, camels and elephants, with period costumes and settings.  DVD 3756

Nayak = The hero. 1966, 1 videodisc (120 min.).  A successful movie actor faces the hollowness of life underneath the veneer of glamor and success.  DVD 3495

Pakeezah. 1972, 1 videodisc (148 min.).  In Muslim Lucknow at the turn of the century a dancer/courtesan dreams of escaping her dishonorable life but, rejected by her husband's family, dies in a graveyard giving birth to a daughter who grows up to become a courtesan as well, but eventually does find happiness in marriage and acceptance in her father's family.  DVD 8837 and Streaming video.

Pathera panchali = Song of the little road. 1955, 1 videodisc (ca. 119 min.).  Apu trilogy. A poor Bengali family survives in a village but wider horizons tempt the father. The protection of family members' reputations, the relationship of the family group to an elderly 'aunt', and first confrontations with death contribute to the early development of the boy Apu. His father's dreams prevail over the objections of his mother so that at the end of the film the family moves to the big city of Benares.  DVD 3751 and Streaming video.

Phir milenge. 2004, 1 videodisc (145 min.).  A young woman who is very successful and popular in the advertising agency where she works gets into a serious situation where she loses her job. She decides to fight the injustice that has befallen her, and meets a young man who brings her some hope. DVD 6641 

Pratidandi = The adversary. 1970, 1 videodisc (110 min.).  Siddartha, a medical student, feels he must discontinue his studies following the death of his father. He looks for a job and has to submit to a formal interviews requiring that the candidate be examined by a committee on questions of general culture. He realizes that he lacks the all important element of backing. Somewhat mentally disoriented, wandering in a Calcutta shocked by intense political upheaval and revolutionary violence, he ends by accepting a medical sales position, away from the city and the girl he loves. DVD 3497

Pyaasa. 1957, 1 videodisc (130 min.).  Directed by Guru Dutt. Unemployed Vijay is the youngest in his family consisting of his widowed mom, and two brothers. His passion is poetry - frowned upon by his brothers - who want him to find gainful employment instead. Vijay’s poems are quite radical in which he laments about the poor, the destitute, and the arrogance of the rich after the departure of the British from India. His efforts to get them published are in vain. He takes to drinking, gets in trouble with the law, is disowned by his brothers, ends up at a brothel and befriends a prostitute named Gulabo. Gulabo is sympathetic, listens to him as he pours his heart out, and decides to assist Vijay. Watch what happens when Gulabo approaches some of her affluent clientele to assist Vijay and try and get his work published, without revealing that they are written by an alcoholic, disheveled, homeless man.  DVD 238 and Streaming video.

Rang de basanti. 2006, 1 videodisc (171 min.).  This is the story about the youth of India today.  A young London based film-maker comes upon the diaries of her grandfather, who served in the British police force in India during the freedom struggle.  She plans to shoot a film based on the diaries and casts a group of friends to play the roles of the revolutionaries described in the diaries.  The friends cannot identify with the characters and would rather enjoy today's life than get involved in a project that seems like stuff of textbooks.  DVD 3140

Razia Sultan. 1982, 1 videodisc (176 min.).  Love story of Queen Razia and a lowly Abyssinian slave, Yaqub.  DVD 3976

The River. 1951, 1 videodisc (99 min.). dir. Jean Renoir. The film eloquently contrasts the growing pains of three young women with the immutability of the holy Bengal River in India, around which their daily lives unfold.  DVD 1183

A river called Titas. 1973, 1 videodisc (156 min.).  Martin Scorsese's world cinema project: The Criterion collection: Martin Scorsese's world cinema project: Criterion collection (DVD videodiscs). The Bengali filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak's stunningly beautiful, elegiac saga concerns the tumultuous lives of people in fishing villages along the banks of the Titas River in pre-partition East Bengal. Focusing on the tragic intertwining fates of a series of fascinating characters - in particular, the poignant story of an entire community's vanishing way of life. DVD 11204 

Roja. 1992, 1 videodisc (137 min.).  An Indian police officer, expert in computers and cryptography, comes to a South Indian village in search of a bride. He marries the younger sister of his original intended. Immediately after the wedding he is posted to embattled Kashmir. Just as the newlyweds are getting acquainted and beginning to fall in love, he is kidnapped by Kashmiri separatists. Delicate negotiations ensue, with his wife pleading with officials to recover her husband. DVD 8975

Salaam Bombay! 1988, 1 videodisc (116 min.).  Krisha, a ten year old boy, has been abandoned in Bombay by his mother. He tries to earn money to go home while he lives in the streets. DVD 4789

Sancharram = The journey. 2004, 1 videodisc (107 min.).  Despite her love for her best friend, Kiran must marry the boy chosen by her family.  When Delilah discovers the truth, the two women begin a secret romance. DVD 3694

Sangam. 1964, 1 videodisc (187 min.).  “An emotion-filled story of a husband and wife whose life is intertwined with the strands of love and hurt. Raj marries Radha, the love of his life. But a letter from an unknown admirer written to his wife lights the fire of jealousy in his mind and drives him to hurt himself and Radha...Only a supreme sacrifice by a close friend makes Raj realize what had happened." -- Container.  DVD 11136

Shadow kill = Nizhalkkuthu. 2002, 1 videodisc (91 min.).  Kaliyappan struggles with the guilt and implications of the executions he obediently carries out. His son rejects his father's way of life. After Kaliyappan is told to prepare for another hanging, a traveler's story changes their destiny. DVD 1842

Shatranj ke khiladi = The chess players. 1977, 1 videodisc (115 min.).  This drama about colonialism and indigenous culture is set in 1856 at the court of Wajid Ali Shah in Lucknow, the capital of Oudh. Features two parallel narratives. The first shows rich landowners Meer and Mirza pour every ounce of passion into a never-ending game of chess. Without thinking of their responsibilities to their families and the political uprising in the kingdom, the two men just keep playing. The second narrative dramatises the conflict between Wajid Ali Shah and General James Outram who represents Lord Dalhousie's treacherously implemented annexation policies. Wajid Ali is shown as a politically weak figure who surrenders to the British without a fight. DVD 3496 and Streaming video.

Sholay. 1975, 1 videodisc (204 min.).  In this film, India's best-known "curry" western, two small-time crooks are hired by an ex-cop, Thakur, to stop the tyranny of Gabbar Singh who massacred Thakur's family. It is also the story of a village that realizes non-violence does not mean cowardice, but that it can stand up to terror and lawlessness. DVD 6009 

Sita sings the blues. 2008, 1 videodisc (82 min.).  An animated reinterpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana blends the stories of Sita, a goddess separated from her husband Rama, and Nina, an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Set to the 1920s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw.  DVD 7220

Split wide open. 1999, 1 videodisc (102 min.).  Provocative Indian film examining sex and sexuality and different types of relationships on the mean streets of Bombay. "Kut Price, aka KP, sells tank water to the poor and Evian to the rich. Didi, his ten year old adopted sister, sells flowers on the streets waiting for a miracle to save her. Leela, a student, discovers the unspeakable secrets of her wealthy father. And Nandita, an expatriate recently arrived from London, hosts a hugely popular reality-TV show on which people confess the secrets of their sex lives"--Container. DVD 1470

The stranger. 1991, 1 videodisc (120 min.).  An enigmatic but friendly long-lost family member visits after many years and shakes up a middle-class household, in Ray's moving swan song.  DVD 9945

That girl in yellow boots. 2010, 1 videodisc (109 min.).  Ruth is searching for her father, a man she hardly knew but cannot forget. Desperation drives her to work without a permit at a massage parlor. Torn between several schisms, Mumbai becomes the alien, yet strangely familiar backdrop for Ruth's quest. She struggles to find her independence and space, even as she is sucked deeper into the labyrinthine politics of the city's underbelly. It's a city that feeds on her misery, a love that eludes her, and a devastating truth that she must encounter. DVD 3359

Two daughters. 1961, 1 videodisc (109 min.).  "The first story is about Nanda, a young man who leaves Calcutta to work as a postmaster in an isolated malaria-infested village. The postmaster is looked after by a young orphan girl, Ratan. His only solace in the village is in teaching Ratan how to read and write. The second story is about a student, Amulya, who returns to his village after finishing his exams. His widowed mother is very anxious for him to marry, and has already picked out a girl. He rejects his mother's choice and, being forced to choose some girl, marries a lively tomboy who is not ready to give up her freedom." -- from container. DVD 6815

Umrao Jaan = Umaråava jåana. 1981, 1 videodisc (121 min.).  Costume spectacular/musical of the life of a courtesan, musician and dancer of mid 19th-century Lucknow, who achieves great renown and remains independent of the three men she gets involved with over time. Based on first major Urdu novel. DVD 322

Veer-Zaara. 2004, 1 videodisc (185 min.).  Saamiya Siddiqui, a Pakistani lawyer, struggles to unravel the truth about Veer Pratap Singh and win him justice.  DVD 10269

Water. 2005, 1 videodisc (117 min.).  A Hindu widow in 1938 could throw herself on her husband's funeral pyre, marry her husband's younger brother or live in poverty and self-denial from then on. When eight-year-old Chuyia is widowed, she is sent to a home in the Holy City of Varanasi where Hindu widows live in penitence. Her feisty presence affects the other residents, forcing each to confront their faith and society's prejudices, especially a young woman who has fallen in love with a follower of Gandhi. DVD 3498

Yaadon ki baaraat. 1973, 1 videodisc (154 min.).  Three brothers are separated as children after their parents are murdered. The only way they can find each other is through a family song only the brothers know. DVD 3695

Zubeidaa. 2001, 1 videodisc (145 min.).  The story of a young man's quest to recover the memory of the mother he never knew and to piece together her life from the memories of those who knew her.  DVD 3501