Indian films on environment

Recording the cries of nature


April 3, 2020

/ By / New Delhi

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From scarcity of water to the crippling challenge of deforestation, many Indian films have dealt with the subject over years in their own creative manner. Here are some of the Indian films that reiterate the damage caused by humanity to the environment.

Bhoomi Geetha (1997)

Indian films on environment

The film is about the impact of constructing dams on the natives

Many environmentalists around the world have repeatedly protested against the impact of dam-construction on the local communities. The issue was taken up in the 1997 Kannada film Bhoomi Geetha that narrated the impact of displacement on the people when a dam is built on their native land. The film tries to educate the audience about the negative consequences that building a dam can attract. Directed by Kesari Haravoo, the film has Atul Kulkarni, Lokesh and Manjubhashini in the lead roles. The film also won a National Award in the Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation category. 

Urrumatram (2002) 

The film won national award in the Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation category

A 30-minute Tamil short film, Urumatram is the story of an old man whose son has decided to sell off their ancestral property to a plastic factory owner. Tables are turned when his grandson joins him in condemning this act and takes a stand on the values of environmental preservation that he learnt from the grandfather. The film, with a lot of emotional drama, tries to promote a respect and care of the elderly and the environment. A film by A B. Sivakumar, it received the national award in the Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation category. The film was also screened at International Environmental Film Festival held In Brazil in 2003 and was awarded Best Short Film at New Jersey Film Festival (2004). 

Kaun Kitney Paani Mein Hai (2015)

Indian films on environment

The film takes a satirical dig at water crisis

Kaun Kitney Paani Mein Hai is a mind-boggling Indian drama dealing with water scarcity in a unique manner. The story is based on two fictional villages, separated by caste that, over time, develop water scarcity. As the lower cast manages to conserve water with its unique ways, the equation of power is reversed in the two villages. The film follows a tone of satirical parody and presents before the audience a scenario where wealth becomes meaningless in the absence of water and water become the new currency. The film takes a dig at the caste system, economic divisions, honour killings and water scarcity at the same time. The film stars acclaimed actors including Radhika Apte, Saurabh Shukla, Gulshan Grover and Kunal Kapoor.  

Paani (2018) 

Indian films on environment

The film is a love story from Maharashtra’s drought-prone village Nagdarwadi

Based on real life incidences, the 2008 Marathi film is a love story set against the backdrop of a drought affected Maharashtrian village Nagdarwadi. The film brings on the forefront the challenges that modernisation of water cultivation ropes in for a village. Hanumant, the protagonist of the film, tries to ensure adequate water supply in the region. The film not only won a national award in the Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation category, but also international fame through its screening at the New York Film Festival. The film also marked Aditya Kothare’s directorial debut.



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