5 Greatest Films on India’s Freedom Struggle

Many people find it difficult to conceive living a life of slavery and servitude with no possibility of liberation. However, this was the reality for the entire nation of India only a little more than seven decades ago.

Today is India’s 74th anniversary as a constitutionally democratic and sovereign country. However, without the courage, tenacity, and heroism demonstrated by India’s revolutionaries, the road to freedom would have been significantly more difficult.

Here, we look at five of the best films that pay tribute to individuals who helped us achieve our current level of freedom.

1. Mangal Pandey: Mangal Pandey, directed by Ketan Mehta, transports viewers to the mid-nineteenth century and India’s First War of Independence, the country’s first organised revolt against the British Empire. The plot centres around an Indian soldier who fights the East India Company valiantly. Against all obstacles, Mangal Pandey (Aamir Khan), an Indian Army sepoy, conducts a violent and fierce revolt against India’s colonial occupiers, while preserving his friendship with his British commanding officer, William Gordon. Mangal Pandey, a classic story about the oppressed fighting against their oppressors, is a must-see this Independence Day.

2. Lagaan: Lagaan was India’s entry to the Academy Awards in 2001, written and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. The film, which stars Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh in the key roles, is set in 1893 and expertly blends sports and politics. Lagaan is a hugely enjoyable film that was a worldwide smash thanks to its devious machinations, musical sequences, and laugh-out-loud humour. When the British overlords of India decide to impose a new tax on Indian villages, Bhuvan, a young man, leads a charge against them, challenging the occupiers to a cricket match. The story that follows is a colourful one of perseverance and intrigue.

3. The Legend of Bhagat Singh: The Legend of Bhagat Singh is a film directed by Rajkumar Santoshi and starring Ajay Devgan. It tells the story of the fiery independence fighter who led an armed battle against British imperialism. The film follows the revolutionary from his childhood, when he witnesses the atrocities perpetrated on his people, to his alliance with the Hindustan Republic Association and the assassination of a British police officer. The Legend of Bhagat Singh is a must-see for anybody interested in learning about the immense sacrifices made by India’s liberation fighters.

4. Gandhi: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of the nation, has and will continue to be an unrivalled presence in Indian history. Gandhi, starring Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi, is a biopic that follows his life and tribulations from his days as a lawyer in South Africa through the nonviolent independence movement he leads in India. Gandhi has near-saintly status in India, yet the film succeeds admirably in depicting his more humanistic side. Richard Attenborough’s biographical drama, filmed and produced by him, received acclaim upon its premiere and won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.

5. Rang De Basanti: Rang De Basanti, produced and directed by Omprakash Mehra, is the third film on this list to feature Aamir Khan in the lead role. Following their graduation from Delhi University, a group of young Indians are cast in a documentary about India’s liberation fighters by an English woman. Mehra’s film, which alternates between two time zones, poses some difficult concerns and challenges the viewer to consider what the genuine value of freedom is. Rang De Basanti was also nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars, thanks to its outstanding screenplay and narrative.