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Parallel Cinema

Parallel Cinema

Born as an alternative to the mainstream cinema, Parallel Cinema of India was an iconic film movement known for its naturalism, realism, and depiction of social realities of the country.


Mani Kaul India, 1970

Minimal action, unique frames, and unusual editing make Mani Kaul’s debut feature Our Daily Bread a path-breaking work of Indian New Wave cinema. The film takes a radical departure from narrative cinema and uses a languid pace instead of dialogue to present the overburdened existence of women.

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Kamal Swaroop India, 1988

Indian new wave filmmaker Kamal Swaroop’s debut feature is a postmodern portrait of day-to-day life in the town of Ajmer. Told through idiosyncratic imagery, unusual dialogues, and irreverence, this film is a cult-classic of Indian experimental cinema.


Ketan Mehta India, 1986

This path-breaking film by Ketan Mehta uncovers the ugly realities of an oppressive patriarchal society. Set in colonial India, Mirch Masala remains relevant to this day because of its core idea of solidarity, where women rise up to support each other due to their shared experiences of trauma.


Mrinal Sen India, 1973

In 1970s India, as the Naxalite movement gains momentum, a political activist escapes a prison van and is sheltered in a posh apartment owned by a sensitive young woman. A thought-provoking insight into the complexity of an individual’s politics and its place in the Indian social structure.


Awtar Krishna Kaul India, 1974

Shot in black and white, 27 Down underlines the transient nature of life through its recurring motifs of railway stations and running trains. Based on Hindi novel Athara Sooraj Ke Paudhe, the film indelibly portrays the evolution of the relationship between a young couple in mid 70s Bombay.


Buddhadeb Dasgupta India, 1992

A poignant and thought-provoking lens on the struggles of a newly independent country trying to get on its feet. This is symbolized by an idealistic freedom fighter’s struggle to cope with the disillusionment he witnesses in free India. Featuring a compelling performance by Mithun Chakraborty.


Shyam Benegal India, 1993

Based on a novel by Hindi author Dharamvir Bharati, The Seventh Horse of the Sun weaves reality with fiction to create a mystical ode to the art of storytelling. A poignant meditation on romance, class, and the passing of time, this is a subtly layered portrayal of life ethics in 1990s India.


Tapan Sinha India, 1991

After years of painstaking research, Dr. Dipankar Roy discovers a vaccine for leprosy, only to find himself losing the credit to two American researchers. An insight into the injustice faced by scientific researchers in India that is fueled by crab-mentality, professional jealousy, and bureaucracy.