Cinema is a powerful means to stir emotion, to inspire and rouse up. Over the years, there have been some truly stellar films about standing up for what’s right and facing your oppressors, no matter how daunting it may seem. Basically, these are movies about showing the finger to The Man. Enjoy.
1. Rang De Basanti
Who doesn’t love this movie? It’s a story of four college-going friends whose patriotism is awakened when they act in a documentary about India’s freedom fighters. From being carefree boys, they go on to bring about a seismic change in the corrupt political situation of the country.
2. V for Vendetta
3. The Hunger Games films
These films, which made Jennifer Lawrence an international star, are based on books of the same name. They take place in a dystopian future world where people are chose from different districts to fight to the death for the entertainment of the elite. That is, until one person decides to fight back.
4. The Star Wars films
This one is obvious. The Empire itself is an allegory for authoritarian governments that the world has seen. Darth Vader might have been Luke’s dad, but he was also a planet destroyer who started out by killing kids. And stormtroopers? They’re basically bhakts in armour. Despite the laster films not being too great, the essential storyline of standing up to an oppressive overlord remains constant.
Set after the third World War, this film takes place in the confines of brutalist architecture and a whole lot of dictatorial imagery. People are no longer allowed to feel emotion, which is enforced by a daily drug injection. Art and books are also removed, at least until one enforcer decides enough is enough.
6. His Dark Materials
This show, based on the novels of the same name by Philip Pullman, is a fantasy extravaganza that doesn’t shy from the disturbing. It’s based in an alternate world where a a supreme authority known as The Magisterium controls every facet of what people read and learn.One girl then learns of a massive conspiracy, and soon sets off on a journey that is bound to bring her head on with this organisation.
7. The Legend of Bhagat Singh
Starring Ajay Devgn in the titular role, this film tells the story of India’s most influential freedom fighter. It chronicles his life from his childhood where he witnessed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre right up to his execution at the age of 23. His physical form might have died, but his legacy lives on forever.
8. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
The evergreen tale of Robin of Loxley and his band of thieves. They steal from the rich and give to the poor, and that comes in handy when you have a tyrannical Sheriff of Nottingham who rules with an iron fist. It’s a tale as old as time, but still a good watch if you’re feeling a little rebellious.
This film starring Ajay Devgn and Amitabh Bachchan is about a man who loses his son due to skulduggery of politician. While seeking compensation, he slaps a corrupt officer and ends up in jail. His deceased son’s friend then starts a campaign to free him, which snowballs into a full-fledged movement involving students, labourers, and common people disillusioned with the system.
10. No One Killed Jessica
This film is based on the murder of model Jessical Lal in 1999. It stars Vidya Balan as sabrina, Jessica’s bereaved sister, and Rani Mukherji as Meera, a journalist and activist fighting for justice in the form of getting Manu Sharma, the son of a politician, arrested. The film highlighted how media activism can correct wrongs in the legal system.
This politically charged film stars Ajay Devgn as a powerful student leader who wants to change the system by being a part of it. When he is killed for going against the system, it inspires Vivek Oberoi’s character, Arjun to get into politics. Arjun is a representation of millennials – someone who dreams of going to America for a ‘better life’ until the conditions around him convince him to work towards improving his own country.
One thing is for sure, it’s always better to stand up for your beliefs than stand idly by. They’re called rights for a reason.